Time-lapse resistivity imaging is increasingly used to monitor hydrologic processes. Compared to conventional hydrologic measurements, surface time-lapse resistivity provides superior spatial coverage in two or three dimensions, potentially high-resolution information in time, and information in the absence of wells. However, interpretation of time-lapse electrical tomograms is complicated by the ever-increasing size and complexity of long-term, three-dimensional (3-D) time series conductivity data sets. Here we use 3-D surface time-lapse electrical imaging to monitor subsurface electrical conductivity variations associated with stage-driven groundwater-surface water interactions along a stretch of the Columbia River adjacent to the Hanford 300 near Richland, Washington, USA. We reduce the resulting 3-D conductivity time series using both time-series and time-frequency analyses to isolate a paleochannel causing enhanced groundwater-surface water interactions. Correlation analysis on the time-lapse imaging results concisely represents enhanced groundwater-surface water interactions within the paleochannel, and provides information concerning groundwater flow velocities. Time-frequency analysis using the Stockwell (S) transform provides additional information by identifying the stage periodicities driving groundwater-surface water interactions due to upstream dam operations, and identifying segments in time-frequency space when these interactions are most active. These results provide new insight into the distribution and timing of river water intrusion into the Hanford 300 Area, which has a governing influence on the behavior of a uranium plume left over from historical nuclear fuel processing operations.
Additional publication details
Monitoring groundwater-surface water interaction using time-series and time-frequency analysis of transient three-dimensional electrical resistivity changes