Electrical resistivity imaging has been used in coastal settings to characterize fresh submarine groundwater discharge and the position of the freshwater/salt-water interface because of the relation of bulk electrical conductivity to pore-fluid conductivity, which in turn is a function of salinity. Interpretation of tomograms for hydrologic processes is complicated by inversion artifacts, uncertainty associated with survey geometry limitations, measurement errors, and choice of regularization method. Variation of seawater over tidal cycles poses unique challenges for inversion. The capabilities and limitations of resistivity imaging are presented for characterizing the distribution of freshwater and saltwater beneath a beach. The experimental results provide new insight into fresh submarine groundwater discharge at Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, East Falmouth, Massachusetts (USA). Tomograms from the experimental data indicate that fresh submarine groundwater discharge may shut down at high tide, whereas temperature data indicate that the discharge continues throughout the tidal cycle. Sensitivity analysis and synthetic modeling provide insight into resolving power in the presence of a time-varying saline water layer. In general, vertical electrodes and cross-hole measurements improve the inversion results regardless of the tidal level, whereas the resolution of surface arrays is more sensitive to time-varying saline water layer.
|Title||Marine electrical resistivity imaging of submarine groundwater discharge: Sensitivity analysis and application in Waquoit Bay, Massachusetts, USA|
|Authors||Rory Henderson, Frederick D. Day-Lewis, Elena Abarca, Charles F. Harvey, Hanan N. Karam, Lanbo Liu, John W. Lane|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Hydrogeology Journal|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||OGW Branch of Geophysics; Office of Ground Water; Toxic Substances Hydrology Program|