Use of multi-electrode resistivity profiling to estimate hydraulic properties of preferential flow paths in alluvial floodplains

R. B. Miller, D. M. Heeren, G. A. Fox, T. Halihan, D. E. Storm, A. R. Mittelstet

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Ozark region of eastern Oklahoma is characterized by limestone and sandstone plateaus partitioned by steep-sided stream valleys and occupied by clear, gravel-bed streams. Alluvial floodplain soils are generally cherty with high hydraulic conductivities. Many areas have alluvial floodplains consisting of a mantle of alluvial soils overlying thick subsoil primarily consisting of gravel. Previous work at a site in eastern Oklahoma found preferential flow of a conservative tracer within the gravel subsoil with an estimated hydraulic conductivity of 140 to 230 m/d. Multi-electrode electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) was used as a non-invasive method to determine the nature and extent of the preferential flow path (PFP). The ERI two-dimensional profile found a highly resistive layer in the area of the PFP. The range of resistance for this area was similar to the resistance found in an ERI survey from the surface of a nearby gravel bar, which strongly suggested that the PFP consists of clean, coarse gravel. This study attempted to determine whether PFPs exist at two other alluvial floodplain sites in the Ozarks with differing catchment areas. Since the factors controlling resistivity are similar to the factors controlling hydraulic conductivity, an association between the two was expected. Borehole permeameter tests, using a system specifically designed for gravelly soils, were used to estimate saturated hydraulic conductivity. An equation was developed between the point-measured hydraulic conductivity and larger-scale electrical resistivity mapping. Limitations in current analytical solutions prevented the estimation of hydraulic conductivity for all tests, primarily due to the rates that were induced on the gravel subsoils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2010
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges of Change - Proceedings of the World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2010
Pages959-969
Number of pages11
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2010: Challenges of Change - Providence, RI, United States
Duration: May 16 2010May 20 2010

Publication series

NameWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2010: Challenges of Change - Proceedings of the World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2010

Conference

ConferenceWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2010: Challenges of Change
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityProvidence, RI
Period5/16/105/20/10

Keywords

  • Flood plains
  • Hydraulic properties
  • Limestone
  • Oklahoma
  • Sandstone
  • Water flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Use of multi-electrode resistivity profiling to estimate hydraulic properties of preferential flow paths in alluvial floodplains'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this