Quantifying the accuracy of laboratory SIP experimental set ups

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Dimitrios Ntarlagiannis, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ, United States and Lee D Slater, Rutgers Univ, Newark, NJ, United States
Over the last decade the spectral induced polarization (SIP) method has reemerged as a promising method for subsurface investigations. The sensitivity of SIP to bulk and interfacial physicochemical properties permits a wider range of hydrogeophysical and environmental applications, including monitoring of subsurface biogeochemical transformations. Improvements in instrumentation and experimental designs, along with faster acquisition capabilities and easy access to processing routines are encouraging novel applications of the method, and support quantitative interpretation of the data acquired.

Motivated by recent research that focus on small scale changes, over large frequency ranges, we performed a series of experiments to identify the accuracy of common laboratory SIP experimental set ups. We performed measurements on resistor – capacitor (RC) networks, to identify the instrumentation accuracy, and also on standard laboratory columns filled with materials of known SIP response, primarily on well characterized fluids of different conductivity. Early results show small errors in the low frequency range, attributed to electrode polarization; in higher frequencies, typically above 1000 Hz, the errors may become significant limiting the meaningful interpretation of small phase angles at these frequencies. The data will be compared with published data using comparable experimental set ups, and could be used to set realistic expectations on future SIP experiments and applications. With this work we aim at developing a best practices document that can aid the SIP user in collecting meaningful and repeatable results.