This work is based on the assumption that a resistivity meter can effectively monitor water saturation in earth levees and can be used as a warning system when saturation exceeds the expected seasonal maxima. We performed time-lapse ERT measurements to assess the capability of this method to detect areas where seepage is critical. These measurements were also very useful to design a prototype monitoring system with remarkable savings by customizing the specifications according to field observations. The prototype consists of a remotely controlled low-power resistivity meter with a spread of 48 stainless steel 20 × 20 cm plate electrodes buried at half-meter depth. We deployed the newly-designed permanent monitoring system on a critical levee segment. A weather station and an ultrasonic water level sensor were also installed in order to analyse the correlation of resistivity with temperature, rainfalls and water level seasonal variations. The preliminary analysis of the monitoring data shows that the resistivity maps follow a very reasonable trend related with the saturation/drying cycle of the levee caused by the seasonal variations of the water level in the irrigation channel. Sharp water level changes cause delayed and smooth resistivity variations. Rainfalls and, to a lesser extent, temperature seem to have an influence on the collected data but effects are apparently negligible beyond 1 m depth. The system is currently operating and results are continuously monitored.

A customized resistivity system for monitoring saturation and seepage in earthen levees: Installation and validation

Munda, Stefano;Tresoldi, Greta;Papini, Monica;Longoni, Laura;Zanzi, Luigi
2017

Abstract

This work is based on the assumption that a resistivity meter can effectively monitor water saturation in earth levees and can be used as a warning system when saturation exceeds the expected seasonal maxima. We performed time-lapse ERT measurements to assess the capability of this method to detect areas where seepage is critical. These measurements were also very useful to design a prototype monitoring system with remarkable savings by customizing the specifications according to field observations. The prototype consists of a remotely controlled low-power resistivity meter with a spread of 48 stainless steel 20 × 20 cm plate electrodes buried at half-meter depth. We deployed the newly-designed permanent monitoring system on a critical levee segment. A weather station and an ultrasonic water level sensor were also installed in order to analyse the correlation of resistivity with temperature, rainfalls and water level seasonal variations. The preliminary analysis of the monitoring data shows that the resistivity maps follow a very reasonable trend related with the saturation/drying cycle of the levee caused by the seasonal variations of the water level in the irrigation channel. Sharp water level changes cause delayed and smooth resistivity variations. Rainfalls and, to a lesser extent, temperature seem to have an influence on the collected data but effects are apparently negligible beyond 1 m depth. The system is currently operating and results are continuously monitored.
embankment monitoring; embankment seepage; flood prevention; geophysical monitoring; hydrogeological risk prevention; levee stability; permanent geoelectrical monitoring; time lapse DC-resistivity; Earth and Planetary Sciences (all)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1044976
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