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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Decay curve analysis for data error quantification in time-domain induced polarization imaging


In recent years, the time-domain induced polarization (TDIP) imaging technique has emerged as a suitable method for the characterization and the monitoring of hydrogeologic and biogeochemical processes. However, one of the major challenges refers to the resolution of the electrical images. Hence, various studies have stressed the importance of data processing, error characterization, and the deployment of adequate inversion schemes. A widely accepted method to assess data error in electrical imaging relies on the analysis of the discrepancy between normal and reciprocal measurements. Nevertheless, the collection of reciprocals doubles the acquisition time and is only viable for a limited subset of commonly used electrode configurations (e.g., dipole-dipole [DD]). To overcome these limitations, we have developed a new methodology to quantify the data error in TDIP imaging, which is entirely based on the analysis of the recorded IP decay curve and does not require recollection of data (e.g., reciprocals). The first two steps of the methodology assess the general characteristics of the decay curves and the spatial consistency of the measurements for the detection and removal of outliers. In the third and fourth steps, we quantify the deviation of the measured decay curves from a smooth model for the estimation of random error of the total chargeability and transfer resistance measurement. The error models and imaging results obtained from this methodology - in the following referred to as "decay curve analysis" - are compared with those obtained following a conventional normal-reciprocal analysis revealing consistent results. We determine the applicability of our methodology with real field data collected at the floodplain scale (approximately 12 ha) using multiple gradient and DD configurations.

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