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Using electrical impedance tomography to map subsurface hydraulic conductivity

United States Patent

November 14, 2000
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - Visit the Industrial Partnerships Office Website
The use of Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT) to map subsurface hydraulic conductivity. EIT can be used to map hydraulic conductivity in the subsurface where measurements of both amplitude and phase are made. Hydraulic conductivity depends on at least two parameters: porosity and a length scale parameter. Electrical Resistance Tomography (ERT) measures and maps electrical conductivity (which can be related to porosity) in three dimensions. By introducing phase measurements along with amplitude, the desired additional measurement of a pertinent length scale can be achieved. Hydraulic conductivity controls the ability to flush unwanted fluid contaminants from the surface. Thus inexpensive maps of hydraulic conductivity would improve planning strategies for subsequent remediation efforts. Fluid permeability is also of importance for oil field exploitation and thus detailed knowledge of fluid permeability distribution in three-dimension (3-D) would be a great boon to petroleum reservoir analysts.
Berryman; James G. (Danville, CA), Daily; William D. (Livermore, CA), Ramirez; Abelardo L. (Pleasanton, CA), Roberts; Jeffery J. (Livermore, CA)
The Regents of the University of California (Oakland, CA)
09/ 106,405
June 29, 1998
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.