Electrical resistivity characterization of anisotropy in the Biscayne Aquifer

Ground Water. Sep-Oct 2014;52(5):728-36. doi: 10.1111/gwat.12107. Epub 2013 Aug 23.

Abstract

Electrical anisotropy occurs when electric current flow varies with azimuth. In porous media, this may correspond to anisotropy in the hydraulic conductivity resulting from sedimentary fabric, fractures, or dissolution. In this study, a 28-electrode resistivity imaging system was used to investigate electrical anisotropy at 13 sites in the Biscayne Aquifer of SE Florida using the rotated square array method. The measured coefficient of electrical anisotropy generally ranged from 1.01 to 1.12 with values as high as 1.36 found at one site. The observed electrical anisotropy was used to estimate hydraulic anisotropy (ratio of maximum to minimum hydraulic conductivity) which ranged from 1.18 to 2.83. The largest values generally were located on the Atlantic Coastal Ridge while the lowest values were in low elevation areas on the margin of the Everglades to the west. The higher values of anisotropy found on the ridge may be due to increased dissolution rates of the oolitic facies of the Miami formation limestone compared with the bryozoan facies to the west. The predominate trend of minimum resistivity and maximum hydraulic conductivity was E-W/SE-NW beneath the ridge and E-W/SW-NE farther west. The anisotropy directions are similar to the predevelopment groundwater flow direction as indicated in published studies. This suggests that the observed anisotropy is related to the paleo-groundwater flow in the Biscayne Aquifer.

MeSH terms

  • Anisotropy
  • Electric Impedance
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Florida
  • Geologic Sediments / chemistry*
  • Groundwater / chemistry*