Journal Article

Adaptive time-lapse optimized survey design for electrical resistivity tomography monitoring

Paul B. Wilkinson, Sebastian Uhlemann, Philip I. Meldrum, Jonathan E. Chambers, Simon Carrière, Lucy S. Oxby and M.H. Loke

in Geophysical Journal International

Volume 203, issue 1, pages 755-766
ISSN: 0956-540X
Published online September 2015 | e-ISSN: 1365-246X | DOI:
Adaptive time-lapse optimized survey design for electrical resistivity tomography monitoring

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  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography and Hydrology


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Adaptive optimal experimental design methods use previous data and results to guide the choice and design of future experiments. This paper describes the formulation of an adaptive survey design technique to produce optimal resistivity imaging surveys for time-lapse geoelectrical monitoring experiments. These survey designs are time-dependent and, compared to dipole–dipole or static optimized surveys that do not change over time, focus a greater degree of the image resolution on regions of the subsurface that are actively changing. The adaptive optimization method is validated using a controlled laboratory monitoring experiment comprising a well-defined cylindrical target moving along a trajectory that changes its depth and lateral position. The algorithm is implemented on a standard PC in conjunction with a modified automated multichannel resistivity imaging system. Data acquisition using the adaptive survey designs requires no more time or power than with comparable standard surveys, and the algorithm processing takes place while the system batteries recharge. The results show that adaptively designed optimal surveys yield a quantitative increase in image quality over and above that produced by using standard dipole–dipole or static (time–independent) optimized surveys.

Keywords: Inverse theory; Tomography; Electrical properties; Hydrogeophysics

Journal Article.  8830 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Geophysics ; Oceanography and Hydrology

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