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Electrical properties of soils

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Publication Type:

Thesis

Source:

Renewable Resources, University of Wyoming, Volume Ph.D., Laramie, WY, p.136 (1999)

URL:

http://www.landviser.net/webfm_send/6

Keywords:

4-electrode, agriculture, bulk density, civil engineering, conductivity, EC, electrical potential, electrodes, EM, environmental, ER, geophysics, hydrology, LandMapper, oil mining, resistivity, salinity, soil genesis, texture, theory, VES, water content

Abstract:

In this study, thorough analysis is conducted for soil electrical properties, i.e. electrical resistivity,conductivity, and potential. Soil electrical properties are the parameters of natural and artificially created electrical fields in soils and influenced by distribution of mobile electrical charges, mostly inorganic ions, in soils. Distributions of electrical charges and properties in various soil profiles were shown to be results of the soil-forming processes. Soil properties influencing the density of mobile electrical charges were found to be exponentially related with electrical resistivity and potential based on Boltzmann’s law of statistical thermodynamics. Relationships were developed between electrical properties and other soil physical and chemical properties, such as texture, stone content, bulk density, water content, cation exchange capacity, salinity, humus content, and base saturation measured in-situ and in soil samples. Geophysical methods of vertical electrical sounding, four-electrode probe, non-contact electromagnetic profiling, and self-potential were modified for measuring soil electrical properties and tested in different soil studies. The proposed methods are extremely efficient, reliable, and non-disturbing. Compared with conventional methods of soil analysis, the electrical geophysical methods allowed evaluating groundwater table, salt content, depth and thickness of soil horizons, polluted or disturbed layers in soil profiles, and stone content with an estimation error <10%. The methods provide extensive data on spatial and temporal variations in soil electrical properties, which relate to the distributions of other essential soil properties. The electrical properties were incorporated with the data from conventional soil analyses to enhance the estimation of a number of soil physical and chemical properties and to assist soil survey. The study shows various applications of the modified geophysical methods in soil physics, soil genesis, precision agriculture, and environmental engineering. The applications of the methods included studying soil water retention, compaction, and soil morphology; mapping soil spatial variability within fields, catenas, or landscapes; locating genetic horizons, compacted or disturbed layers, hydrocarbon pollutants, stones, and groundwater tables in soil profiles; and monitoring soil drying or freezing.

Notes:

CHAPTER I. ELECTRICAL PROPERTIES OF SOLUTIONS AND POROUS MEDIA..................................... 7
I.1. BASIC THEORY OF ELECTRICITY .............................................................................................................................. 7
I.2. SPONTANEOUS ELECTRICAL PHENOMENA IN SOLUTIONS AND POROUS MEDIA......................................................... 9
I.2.1. Electrical phenomena in electrolytic solutions................................................................................................ 9
I.2.2. Electrical phenomena in porous media ......................................................................................................... 12
I.2.3. Electrical phenomena on interfaces of various media................................................................................... 14

CHAPTER II. GEOPHYSICAL METHODS FOR MEASURING ELECTRICAL PARAMETERS IN SOILS19
II.1. CLASSIFICATION OF METHODS ............................................................................................................................. 19
II.2. SELF-POTENTIAL METHOD.................................................................................................................................... 20
II.3. FOUR-ELECTRODE PROBE..................................................................................................................................... 22
II.4. VERTICAL ELECTRICAL SOUNDING....................................................................................................................... 25
II.5. ELECTRICAL TOMOGRAPHY ................................................................................................................................. 29
II.6. GROUND PENETRATING RADAR............................................................................................................................ 29
II.7. ELECTROMAGNETIC INDUCTION........................................................................................................................... 30
II.8. NON-CONTACT ELECTROMAGNETIC PROFILING.................................................................................................... 31

CHAPTER III. ELECTRICAL PARAMETERS AND SOIL PROPERTIES........................................................ 33
III.1. VOLUME DENSITY OF MOBILE ELECTRICAL CHARGES IN SOILS ........................................................................... 33
III.2. RELATIONSHIPS OF ELECTRICAL PARAMETERS AND SOIL PROPERTIES ................................................................ 34
III.3. ELECTRICAL RESISTIVITY CHANGE DURING SOIL COMPACTION........................................................................... 36
III.4. RELATIONSHIP OF ELECTRICAL RESISTIVITY AND SOIL WATER CONTENT............................................................ 39
III.5. RELATIONSHIPS OF ELECTRICAL PARAMETERS AND SOIL CHEMICAL PROPERTIES FOR VARIOUS SOILS ............... 48
III.5.1. Relationships between electrical parameters and soil properties for soils in humid areas........................ 49
III.5.2. Relationships between electrical parameters and soil properties for soils in arid areas ........................... 53
III. 6. PRINCIPLES OF APPLICATION IN-SITU ELECTRICAL MEASUREMENTS TO SOIL STUDIES........................................ 55

CHAPTER IV. APPLICATIONS OF ELECTRICAL GEOPHYSICAL METHODS IN SOIL GENESIS
STUDIES....................................................................................................................................................................... 58
IV.1. ELECTRICAL PARAMETERS AND SOIL-FORMING PROCESSES................................................................................ 58
IV.2. SOIL-FORMING PROCESSES AND ELECTRICAL PARAMETERS OF SOILS IN HUMID AREAS ...................................... 60
IV.2.1. Eluvial processes ........................................................................................................................................ 60
IV.2.2. Gleyzation ................................................................................................................................................... 66
IV.2.3. Peat accumulation ...................................................................................................................................... 67
IV.2.4. Soil catena in humid areas.......................................................................................................................... 69
IV.2.5. Climatic soil sequences............................................................................................................................... 70
IV.3. SOIL-FORMING PROCESSES AND ELECTRICAL PARAMETERS OF SOILS IN SEMIARID AND ARID AREAS ................. 72
IV.3.1. Humus accumulation and calcification....................................................................................................... 72
IV.3.2. Salinization and alkanization...................................................................................................................... 73
IV.4. ELECTRICAL PARAMETERS OF CHARACTERISTIC SOIL HORIZONS........................................................................ 76

CHAPTER V. USAGE OF ELECTRICAL GEOPHYSICAL METHODS IN AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH
........................................................................................................................................................................................ 79
V.1. STUDY VALLEY AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES IN HUMID AREAS WITH ELECTRICAL GEOPHYSICAL METHODS...... 79
V.2. DETECTION OF THE GROUNDWATER TABLE AND SUBSURFACE SALINITY DURING IRRIGATION AGRICULTURE IN
ARID AREAS USING ELECTRICAL GEOPHYSICAL METHODS ........................................................................................... 85
ER ........................................................................................................................................................................... 90
V.3. ESTIMATING SPATIAL VARIABILITY OF SOIL SALINITY USING ELECTRICAL CONDUCTIVITY MEASUREMENTS AND
GEOSTATISTICAL METHODS ......................................................................................................................................... 93
V.4. EVALUATION OF SOIL STONE CONTENT WITH ELECTRICAL GEOPHYSICAL METHODS.......................................... 102

CHAPTER VI. APPLICATIONS OF ELECTRICAL GEOPHYSICAL METHODS IN ENVIRONMENTAL
AND CIVIL ENGINEERING ................................................................................................................................... 108
VI.1. GEOPHYSICAL METHODS FOR EVALUATING PHYSICAL PROPERTIES AND HYDROLOGY OF URBAN SOILS ........... 108
VI.2. EVALUATION OF SOIL POLLUTION DURING GAS AND PETROLEUM MINING ........................................................ 114
VI.3. METHOD OF FOUR-ELECTRODE PROBE FOR IDENTIFYING BURIAL PLACES OF CRIMINAL ORIGIN ...................... 118