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Abstract

Resistivity mapping with GEOPHILUS ELECTRICUS – Information about lateral and vertical soil heterogeneity.

GEOPHILUS ELECTRICUS (nickname GEOPHILUS) is a novel system for mapping the complex electrical bulk resistivity of soils. Rolling electrodes simultaneously measure amplitude and phase data at frequencies ranging from 1 mHz to 1 kHz. The sensor’s design and technical specifications allow for measuring these parameters at five depths of up to ca. 1.5 m. Data inversion techniques can be employed to determine resistivity models instead of apparent values and to image soil layers and their geometry with depth. When used in combination with a global positioning system (GPS) and a suitable cross-country vehicle, it is possible to map about 100 ha/day (assuming 1 data point is recorded per second and the line spacing is 18 m). The applicability of the GEOPHILUS system has been demonstrated on several sites, where soils show variations in texture, stratification, and thus electrical characteristics. The data quality has been studied by comparison with ‘static’ electrodes, by repeated measurements, and by comparison with other mobile conductivity mapping devices (VERIS3100 and EM38). The high quality of the conductivity data produced by the GEOPHILUS system is evident and demonstrated by the overall consistency of the individual maps, and in the clear stratification also confirmed by independent data.

The GEOPHILUS system measures complex values of electrical resistivity in terms of amplitude and phase. Whereas electrical conductivity data (amplitude) are well established in soil science, the interpretation of phase data is a topic of current research. Whether phase data are able to provide additional information depends on the site-specific settings. Here, we present examples, where phase data provide complementary information on man-made structures such as metal pipes and soil compaction.



Lueck, E.; Ruehlmann, J. 2013. Resistivity mapping with GEOPHILUS ELECTRICUS – Information about lateral and vertical soil heterogeneity. Geoderma 199, 2-11.