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Specific storage and hydraulic conductivity tomography through the joint inversion of hydraulic heads and self-potential data

Abstract : Transient hydraulic tomography is used to image the heterogeneous hydraulic conductivity and specific storage fields of shallow aquifers using time series of hydraulic head data. Such ill-posed and non-unique inverse problem can be regularized using some spatial geostatistical characteristic of the two fields. In addition to hydraulic heads changes, the flow of water, during pumping tests, generates an electrical field of electrokinetic nature. These electrical field fluctuations can be passively recorded at the ground surface using a network of non-polarizing electrodes connected to a high impedance (> 10 MOhm) and sensitive (0.1 mV) voltmeter, a method known in geophysics as the self-potential method. We perform a joint inversion of the self-potential and hydraulic head data to image the hydraulic conductivity and specific storage fields. We work on a 3D synthetic confined aquifer and we use the adjoint state method to compute the sensitivities of the hydraulic parameters to the hydraulic head and self-potential data in both steady-state and transient conditions. The inverse problem is solved using the geostatistical quasi-linear algorithm framework of Kitanidis. When the number of piezometers is small, the record of the transient self-potential signals provides useful information to characterize the hydraulic conductivity and specific storage fields. These results show that the self-potential method reveals the heterogeneities of some areas of the aquifer, which could not been captured by the tomography based on the hydraulic heads alone. In our analysis, the improvement on the hydraulic conductivity and specific storage estimations were based on perfect knowledge of electrical resistivity field. This implies that electrical resistivity will need to be jointly inverted with the hydraulic parameters in future studies and the impact of its uncertainty assessed with respect to the final tomograms of the hydraulic parameters.
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https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01742265
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Submitted on : Saturday, March 24, 2018 - 12:59:28 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 6, 2020 - 8:44:02 AM

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a Soueid Ahmed, Abderrahim Jardani, A Revil, Jean-Paul Dupont. Specific storage and hydraulic conductivity tomography through the joint inversion of hydraulic heads and self-potential data. Advances in Water Resources, Elsevier, 2016, 89, pp.80--90. ⟨10.1016/j.advwatres.2016.01.006⟩. ⟨hal-01742265⟩

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