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Unconventional Arrays for 3D Electrical Resistivity and Induced Polarization Tomography to Detect Leachate Concentration in a Waste Landfill


In recent times, 3D electrical resistivity and induced polarization tomographies are being used more frequently. However, it is often not possible to have regular grids of electrodes due to irregular topography, difficulty accessing urbanized or industrialized places, and other environmental and health problems. In these cases, the use of unconventional arrays is necessary, arranging the electrodes around the inaccessible area according to one or more open or closed polygonal traces. In this work, three different perimeter arrangements of electrodes are considered, and, for each, three different electrode array configurations are tested by calculating their apparent resistivity and solving the inverse problem on a three-dimensional model with resistive and conductive blocks. The comparison of the results showed that the dataset that produces the most realistic inverse model consists of electrodes arranged in concentric squares and the use of the Full Range Gradient (FRG) Array. This combination was evaluated in the field on a waste landfill, in which electrical resistivity and induced polarization tomographies were carried out, exploiting the access paths to the various sectors of the landfill to arrange the electrodes on approximately concentric polygons. The 3D models of electrical resistivity and induced polarization allowed the detection of zones of high concentration of leachate, defining their extension, and monitoring the functioning of the waterproofing membrane at the bottom of the landfill. The results proved that when it is not possible to arrange a regular grid of electrodes, the use of perimeter disposals of electrode joined to the FRG array provide a sufficiently homogeneous resolution below the area to be investigated.