Use of electrical tomography methods to determinate the extension and main migration routes of uncontrolled landfill leachates in fractured areas

Sci Total Environ. 2015 Feb 15;506-507:546-53. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.11.068. Epub 2014 Nov 27.


This study focuses on the uses of the electrical tomography and its relationship with hydrochemical data in order to characterize contaminated groundwater flows in fractured aquifers. The studied area is contaminated with different hazardous substances like lyndanes, organochlorinated compounds and benzenes coming from the old non-controlled Sardas landfill. The enormous volumes of wastes filling the landfill have generated a convoluted mixture of leachates. Due to the lack of a landfill liner, the leachates have migrated through the fractured Eocene marls towards the Gallego River. The striking correlation between high concentrations of polluted groundwater and low electrical resistivity of the subsurface (<8Ω·m) allows defining the principal contaminant migration route thanks to the distribution of these conductive anomalies. This mapping verifies that there is intense tectonical-structural control of the leachate migration, because the deep migration presents the same direction as the geological axis fold.

Keywords: Fractured aquifer; Landfill; Polluted site (max 6); Resistivity tomography.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Groundwater / chemistry*
  • Refuse Disposal / methods
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Water Movements
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*


  • Water Pollutants, Chemical