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The DC electrical properties of fully and partially saturated, poorly cemented Permo-Triassic sandstone samples have been measured in the laboratory and the results analysed using three popular models. The results of this work, undertaken on samples from the Wildmoor Formation, indicate that the Permo-Triassic sandstone of the UK is a typical shaly sandstone, which cannot be satisfactorily modelled using the simple conventional relationships proposed by Archie for application in the oil industry to non-shaly formations. Application of the more sophisticated models of Waxman–Smits and Hanai–Bruggeman more faithfully model the electrical response of the sandstone. In addition, the derived parameter estimates are better able to characterize the electrical properties of the rock and correlate better with other independently determined hydraulic properties. Application of these models in groundwater investigations will therefore lead to better and more useful estimates of hydraulic parameters. More importantly, this knowledge will allow more accurate quantitative interpretation of electrical monitoring of the vadose zone.

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