Chapter 17: Electrical Resistance Tomography—Theory and Practice
During the last two decades, the United States government has emphasized the environmental remediation of the subsurface contamination which is a legacy of the previous decades of the U.S.-Soviet Cold War. This legacy includes radioactive, chemical, and biological contamination at thousands of sites across the country. The cleanup was, and remains, costly, with many problems solvable only with the development of new technologies. The early development of electrical resistance tomography (ERT) was mainly in response to the need for new technologies to generate high-resolution images of the shallow subsurface. Also, much of the early use of ERT was site characterization or process monitoring for soil and groundwater cleanup.
Figures & Tables
Near-surface geophysics uses the investigational methods of geophysics to study the nature of the very outermost part of the earth’s crust. Man interacts with this part of the earth’s crust: he walks on it; he drills and excavates into it; he constructs structures on and in it; he utilizes its water and mineral resources; and his wastes are stored on and in it and seep into it. The very outermost part of the Earth’s crust is extremely dynamic-in both technical (physical properties) and nontechnical (political, social, legal) terms-which leads to both technical and nontechnical challenges that are much different than the challenges faced by “traditional” applications of geophysics for regional geologic mapping and for oil and gas exploration (see Chapter 2).