Abstract

In recent years, research into the use of geophysical methods for monitoring microbial activity within the subsurface has advanced. One of the most promising methods, induced polarization (IP), has indirectly shown sensitivity to changes in the presence of microbial cells and especially biofilms. The aim of this study is to conclusively show, and quantify if possible, the effect of biofilm accumulation on IP signals. To ensure the controlled formation of biofilm we created an “artificial” alginate gel biofilm, which was introduced into an experimental column at varying amounts. The IP response was measured throughout. Our initial results showed that the IP method is sensitive to biofilm accumulation, after a certain point, and could potentially be used to monitor such microbial structures remotely. Further research with real biofilms under more natural conditions is needed to validate our results.

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