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Imaging patterns in soil hydraulic conductivity using electrical impedance tomography

Recent results of low-frequency electrical impedance spectroscopy measurements on a range of saturated and unsaturated soil samples suggest that spectral electrical properties can be related to hydraulic conductivity. Therefore, electrical impedance tomography (EIT) is a promising non-invasive measurement technique to determine soil hydraulic conductivity patterns. In this project funded within the context of the SFB-TR32 (2011-2014), we aim to establish EIT as a method to determine spatial patterns in hydraulic conductivity and to validate the hydraulic property patterns derived from EIT measurements. A series of stationary flow, infiltration and drainage experiments will be performed on soil columns with different degrees of heterogeneity. To validate the hydraulic property distributions derived by EIT, time-lapse self-potential and electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) data will be inverted using a coupled inversion framework. Field experiments are also planned for 2013-2014.