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Vol. 58, n.4, December 2017
pp. 415-430

2D approach for modelling self-potential anomalies: application to synthetic and real data

I. Oliveti and E. Cardarelli

Received: February 21, 2017; accepted: July 7, 2017

Abstract

The aim of this work is to present a 2D Matlab code based on the finite element method for providing numerical modelling of both groundwater flow and self-potential signals. The distribution of the self-potential is obtained by starting with the solution of the groundwater flow, then computing the source current density, and finally calculating the electrical potential. The reliability of the algorithm is tested with synthetic case studies in order to simulate both the electric field resulting from the existence of a leak in the dam and SP signals associated with a pumping test in an unconfined aquifer. In addition, the algorithm was applied to field data for the localization of piping sinkholes. The results show that the outputs of the algorithm yielded satisfactory solutions, which are in good agreement with those of previous studies and field investigations. In details, the synthetic data and SP anomalies calculated by using the code are very close in terms of sign and magnitude, while real data tests clearly indicated that the computed SP signals were found to be consistent with the measured values.

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