A former dolerite quarry and landfill site was investigated using 2D and 3D electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), with the aims of determining buried quarry geometry, mapping bedrock contamination arising from the landfill, and characterizing site geology. Resistivity data were collected from a network of intersecting survey lines using a Wenner-based array configuration. Inversion of the data was carried out using 2D and 3D regularized least-squares optimization methods with robust (L1-norm) model constraints. For this site, where high resistivity contrasts were present, robust model constraints produced a more accurate recovery of subsurface structures when compared to the use of smooth (L2-norm) constraints. Integrated 3D spatial analysis of the ERT and conventional site investigation data proved in this case a highly effective means of characterizing the landfill and its environs. The 3D resistivity model was successfully used to confirm the position of the landfill boundaries, which appeared as electrically well-defined features that corresponded extremely closely to both historic maps and intrusive site investigation data. A potential zone of leachate migration from the landfill was identified from the electrical models; the location of this zone was consistent with the predicted direction of groundwater flow across the site. Unquarried areas of a dolerite sill were imaged as a resistive sheet-like feature, while the fault zone appeared in the 2D resistivity model as a dipping structure defined by contrasting bedrock resistivities.

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