Monitoring an artificial tracer test within streambed sedimens with time lapse underwater 3D ERT

Abstract : The stream-aquifer interface is considered a hotspot for environmental and ecological issues. Due to their complexity, the exchange mechanisms occurring between groundwater and surface water at this interface are not yet fully understood. Many studies have focused on the characterization of the two-dimensional distribution of an artificial tracer (generally injected into the stream) within and outside the streambed, but there is insufficient information about the 3D spatial distribution of the tracer fluxes and their temporal variations. We monitored the transport of an artificial solute tracer transport with 3D electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) in order to improve the 3D spatial resolution in the imaging of the first tens of centimeters of streambed sediments and propose an innovative approach of the three-dimensional and temporal observation of the water fluxes. The hydro-geophysical field measurements were made on a small stream located within the Orgeval watershed (Seine et Marne, France). Using a resistivimeter connected to 180 electrodes, 3D electrical resistivity tomograms were made on a riverbed section, as a brine tracer was injected directly into the hyporheic zone. Before the tracer monitoring, the static 3D resistivity tomograms were consistent with the lithological heterogeneities identified at the site. However, this study defines some prerequisites to high-resolution 3D underwater resistivity measurements: for instance, a precise knowledge of an eventual weak electrode contact and a spatial resolution identical in every spatial direction. First results show a rapid development and persistence of a conductive plume around the injection point which disappears progressively after the injection. Within the sediments top layer, preferential flowpaths were highlighted due to the highly heterogeneous medium and hydraulic conductivity. The riverbed topography showed some pool-riffle sequences which conduct the formation of local entering and exiting zones. It seems clear that riverbed heterogeneities drive some local exchanges between surface water and pore water, despite the gaining condition of the stream. Moreover, inversion and data processing appear very sensitive to the boundary condition variations, such as the thickness and the resistivity of the water layer. This makes a quantitative interpretation of tracer fluxes within the hyporheic zone difficult. We demonstrate that for this type of study, knowledge of these conditions and precise monitoring of their fluctuations in time are required.
Type de document :
Article dans une revue
Journal of Applied Geophysics, Elsevier, 2017, 139: (158-169 (IF 1,355).)
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Contributeur : Kim Ho <>
Soumis le : jeudi 9 mars 2017 - 14:34:53
Dernière modification le : jeudi 11 janvier 2018 - 06:26:04


  • HAL Id : hal-01485851, version 1



C. Houzé, M. Pessel, V. Durand, A. Toihir. Monitoring an artificial tracer test within streambed sedimens with time lapse underwater 3D ERT. Journal of Applied Geophysics, Elsevier, 2017, 139: (158-169 (IF 1,355).). 〈hal-01485851〉



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