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The Potential Use of Geophysical Methods to Identify Cavities, Sinkholes and Pathways for Water Infiltration

1
Environmental Engineering and Earth Science Department, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA
2
Department of Geography, University of Brasilia, Brasilia 70910-900, Brazil
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Institute of Geoscience, University of Brasilia, Brasilia 70910-900, Brazil
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Department of Built Environment, University of Derby, Derby DE22 3AW, UK
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Department of Geology and Geophysics, National University of San Agustín de Arequipa, Arequipa 04000, Peru
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Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA
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Three Gorges Research Center for Geo-Hazards, Ministry of Education, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
8
Department of Civil and Environmental, Nagaoka University of Technology, Niigata 40-2188, Japan
9
Department of Geophysical Engineering, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City 04510, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(8), 2289; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12082289
Received: 27 June 2020 / Revised: 4 August 2020 / Accepted: 6 August 2020 / Published: 14 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology and Hydrogeology)
The use of geophysical characterization of karst systems can provide an economical and non-invasive alternative for extracting information about cavities, sinkholes, pathways for water infiltration as well as the degree of karstification of underlying carbonate rocks. In the present study, three geophysical techniques, namely, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) and Very Low Frequency Electromagnetic (VLFEM) methods were applied at three different locations in relation to fluvial karst, which is listed as an environmentally sensitive area in Rio Vermelho, Mambaí, Goiás, Brazil. In the data acquisition phase, the GPR, direct-current (DC) resistivity and VLFEM profiles were obtained at the three locations in the area. Data were analyzed using commonly adopted processing workflows. The GPR results showed a well-defined lithology of the site based on the amplitude of the signal and radar typologies. On the other hand, the inverted resistivity cross-sections showed a three-layered stratigraphy, pathways of water infiltration and the weathered structures in carbonate (Bambui group). The interpretation of VLFEM as contours of current density resulted from Fraser and Karous–Hjelt filters, indicated the presence of conductive structures (high apparent current density) that might be linked to the weathered carbonate and other conductive and resistive anomalies associated with the water-filled and dry cavities (cave), respectively. The results encourage the integrated application of geophysical techniques such as the reconnaissance for further detailed characterization of the karst areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: Tarimba cave; ERT; GPR; VLFEM Tarimba cave; ERT; GPR; VLFEM
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Hussain, Y.; Uagoda, R.; Borges, W.; Nunes, J.; Hamza, O.; Condori, C.; Aslam, K.; Dou, J.; Cárdenas-Soto, M. The Potential Use of Geophysical Methods to Identify Cavities, Sinkholes and Pathways for Water Infiltration. Water 2020, 12, 2289.

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