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Hydraulic Tomography/Self-Potential/ERT Experiment

1. HT/SP/ERT Experimentation in June 2007 at the BHRS

This is a brief update (as of April 16, 2007) on the open, collaborative, hydrogeophysical experimentation in June 2007 at the Boise Hydrogeophysical Research Site (BHRS). The main objective of the experimentation is to use a series of hydrologic tests (hydraulic tomography or HT with steady-state, dipole pumping-and-injection tests) in combination with self-potential measurements (SP) and electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) to model the distribution of transmissivity or thickness-averaged hydraulic conductivity in the central area of the BHRS. Broader objectives include: (a) advancing the development of methods and models for high-resolution subsurface characterization and modeling, including joint inversion of hydrologic and geophysical information, and (b) improving understanding of fundamental physical and biogeochemical processes and research issues associated with subsurface science and engineering (e.g., scale, heterogeneity, parameter relationships, …).

The HT/SP/ERT experimentation planned for June 2007 is being supported at Boise State University by funding from EPA under grants X-96004601-0 and X-96004601-1. Some representative references on HT and SP and ERT are given below. Overview and reference information on the Boise Hydrogeophysical Research Site is available at:

We expect to set-up in the field at the BHRS and fine-tune the operations during the week of June 11-15, and then run tests between June 18 – June 22 (or 23 depending on developments) and June 25 to June 29 (or 30 depending on developments). Current plans are to run one dipole configuration per day reaching steady state in a relatively short period of time (+/- 20-30 min), then run SP measurements and then ERT measurements (or vice versa), and then capture the main portion of recovery in a relatively short period of time (+/-30 min or more) after stopping pumping and injection.

Open experiment means anyone can provide input to the planning process, participate in or observe the experimentation, and/or have access to all the data very soon after the experiments are run. The planning process is a committee effort. If you wish to provide input to the planning, feel free to contact the liaison for a given portion of the testing:
Hydraulic Tomography (Warren Barrash),
Self-Potential (Andre Revil), and/or
Electrical Resistivity Tomography (Tim Johnson),
and/or contact other members of the committee as is best for you.

Planning Committee: Geoff BohlingMichael CardiffWalter IllmanTim JohnsonPeter KitanidisCarsten Leven, Bwalya Malama, Carlyle Miller, Burke MinsleyJeffrey MooreAndre RevilEnzo Rizzo, Partha Routh, Salvatore StrafaceSalvatore TroisiRoelof VersteegJim YehWarren Barrash.

2. Summer Hydrogeophyics Course

In parallel with the HT/SP/ERT experimentation, a 2-credit course in Hydrogeophysics is being offered at Boise State (see attached file with description and ). Please pass this announcement to others who may be interested.

3. Logistical considerations

We have a block of rooms reserved at university housing for visitors associated with the experimentation and/or Hydrogeophysics course. These are single-bed rooms in suites of four bedrooms and common space with cooking facilities. Cost is $15 per night for students enrolled in the summer course and $40 per night for others associated with the HT/SP/ERT experimentation.

If you are interested in staying at these university housing accommodations, please contact Warren Barrash as soon as possible with the dates for your stay.

Cafeteria meal accommodations also may be arranged at the university for approximately $25 per day including box lunches to take to the field. Again, please contact Warren Barrash as soon as possible with dates you wish to have these university meals.

The weather from mid-June on is expected to be mostly hot (90-105 F) and dry during the day, with occasional thunderstorms. Temperatures generally cool to the 50s or 60s F at night.

4. Some hydraulic tomography, self-potential, and electrical resistivity tomography references

Hydraulic Tomography

  • Bohling, G. C., X. Zhan, J. J. Butler Jr., and L. Zheng, Steady shape analysis of tomographic pumping tests for characterization of aquifer heterogeneities, Water Resources Research38, 1324, doi:10.1029/2001WR001176, 2002.
  • Liu, S., T.-C. J. Yeh, and R. Gardiner, Effectiveness of hydraulic tomography: sandbox experiments, Water Resources Research, 38, 10.1029/2001WR000338, 2001.
  • Yeh, T.-C. J., and S. Liu, Hydraulic tomography: Development of a new aquifer test method, Water Resources Research36, 2095–2105, 2000.


  • Rizzo, E., B. Suski, and A. Revil, Self-potential signals associated with pumping tests experiments, Journal of Geophysical Research109, B10203, doi:10.1029/2004JB003049, 2004.
  • Revil, A., V. Naudet, J. Nouzaret, and M. Pessel, Principles of electrography applied to self-potential electrokinetic sources and hydrogeological applications, Water Resources Research39 1114, doi:10.1029/ 2001WR000916, 2003.

Electrical Resistivity Tomography

  • LaBreque, D. J., M. Miletto, W. Daily, A. Ramirez, and E. Owen, The effects of noise on Occam’s inversion of resistivity tomography data, Geophysics61, 538-548, 1996.
  • Yeh, T.-C. J., S. Liu, R. J. Glass, K. Baker, J. R. Brainard, D. L. Alumbaugh, and D. LaBreque, A geostatistically based inverse model for electerical resistivity surveys and its applications to vadose zone hydrology, Water Resources Research38, 1278, doi:10.1029/2001WR001204, 2002.
  • Daily, W., A. Ramirez, D. LaBrecque, and J. Nitao, Electrical resistivity tomography of vadose water movement, Water Resources Research28, 1429-1442, 1992.

Joint Inversiion

  • Linde, N, A. Binley, A. Tryggvason, L. B. Pedersen, and A. Revil, Improved hydrogeophysical characterization using joint inversion of cross-hole electrical resistance and ground-penetrating radar, Water Resources Research42, W12404, doi:10.1029/2006WR005131, 2006.

Last updated April 19, 2007 by William P. Clement.
© William P. Clement 2007

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