ABSTRACT

We collected spectral induced polarization spectra with clean sand mixed with metallic particles (either silver, graphite, copper, steel, magnetite, or pyrite particles). The initial pore water conductivity was either 1500 or 1000  μScm1 depending on the experiments (25°C, NaCl). For each of the 15 experiments, we used a narrow and unimodal grain size distribution for the metallic particles. The resulting polarization spectra display clear polarization peaks in the phase and can be fitted with a Cole-Cole complex conductivity model. In addition to this, the chargeability scales with the volume content of the metallic particles in a way that is consistent with the theory of disseminated metallic particles in a weakly polarizable background. Similarly, the phase scales with the content of the metallic particles in a predictable way. The Cole-Cole relaxation time shows a rough dependence with the mean particle size. The trend between these two parameters can be used to determine an apparent diffusion coefficient for the charge carriers responsible for the polarization. Finally, we conducted a laboratory sandbox experiment in which we put a copper plate in tap water-saturated sand. We use an approach based on self-potential tomography and compactness to invert the secondary source current density from the secondary voltages associated with time-domain induced polarization. With this approach, we localized the copper plate and determined a value for the relaxation time that is consistent with the laboratory core sample experiments.

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