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Clay fine fissuring monitoring using miniature geo-electrical resistivity arrays

Sentenac, P. and Zielinski, M. (2009) Clay fine fissuring monitoring using miniature geo-electrical resistivity arrays. Environmental Earth Sciences, 59 (1). pp. 205-214. ISSN 1866-6280

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Abstract This article describes a miniaturised electrical imaging (resistivity tomography) technique to map the cracking pattern of a clay model. The clay used was taken from a scaled flood embankment built to study the fine fissuring due to desiccation and breaching process in flooding conditions. The potential of using a miniature array of electrodes to follow the evolution of the vertical cracks and number them during the drying process was explored. The imaging technique generated two-dimensional contoured plots of the resistivity distribution within the model before and at different stages of the desiccation process. The change in resistivity associated with the widening of the cracks were monitored as a function of time. Experiments were also carried out using a selected conductive gel to slow down the transport process into the cracks to improve the scanning capabilities of the equipment. The main vertical clay fissuring network was obtained after inversion of the experimental resistivity measurements and validated by direct observations.