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Spectral induced polarization of unsaturated porous media

Low-frequency electrical spectral induced polarization (SIP) measurements have been used to predict the saturated hydraulic conductivity of consolidated and unconsolidated porous media. Recently, it has been suggested that SIP measurements on variably saturated porous media may also be useful for the estimation of unsaturated hydraulic conductivity. To better understand the mechanisms causing polarization and to extend the range of SIP applications to the vadose zone, the aim of this project funded within the context of the SFB-TR32 (2007-2010) was to investigate how the SIP response is affected by water saturation and to explore the relationship between characteristic relaxation times in the low-frequency electrical data and the unsaturated soil hydraulic conductivity.