A cylindrical electrical resistivity tomography array for three-dimensional monitoring of hydrate formation and dissociation

Rev Sci Instrum. 2013 Oct;84(10):104502. doi: 10.1063/1.4825372.


The LArge Reservoir Simulator (LARS) was developed to investigate various processes during gas hydrate formation and dissociation under simulated in situ conditions of relatively high pressure and low temperature (close to natural conditions). To monitor the spatial hydrate distribution during hydrate formation and the mobility of the free gas phase generated during hydrate dissociation, a cylindrical Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) array was implemented into LARS. The ERT contains 375 electrodes, arranged in 25 circular rings featuring 15 electrodes each. The electrodes were attached to a neoprene jacket surrounding the sediment sample. Circular (2D) dipole-dipole measurements are performed which can be extended with additional 3D cross measurements to provide supplemental data. The data quality is satisfactory, with the mean standard deviation due to permanent background noise and data scattering found to be in the order of 2.12%. The measured data are processed using the inversion software tool Boundless Electrical Resistivity Tomography to solve the inverse problem. Here, we use data recorded in LARS to demonstrate the data quality, sensitivity, and spatial resolution that can be obtained with this ERT array.