A Geophysical System Combining Electrical Resistivity and Spontaneous Potential for Detecting, Delineating, and Monitoring Slope Stability

Report No: 91-R22

Published in 1991

About the report:

Various geophysical electrical measuring techniques, i.e., spontaneous potential (SP) terrain conductivity meter (TCM), and conventional electrical resistivity/conductivity (ER), were tested to determine their effectiveness in detecting, delineating, and monitoring weak zones and layers along three slopes in western Virginia. In addition, the SP technique in conjunction with an automatic measuring system (AMS) were used to monitor two slopes in real time in order to determine their stability with regard to environmental factors, such as heavy precipitation. Novel techniques were employed to determine electrical properties. In addition to the AMS, a unique resistivity/conductivity sensor was fabricated, tested, and deployed with the use of a small penetrometer. The special sensor cone penetrometer system was able to obtain depth profiles of conductivity and soil strength on steep slopes where conventional penetrometers would be unsafe to operate. The data collected by these various electrical measuring techniques were then compared with each other as well as with environmental and geotechnical data collected as part of this study and in previous investigations.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

Ronald A. Erchul, David F. Noble

Last updated: December 26, 2023

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