Special Issue "Advances in Hydrogeophysics for Structures and Processes Characterization in the Critical Zone: From Laboratory to Field Scale"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydrology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2022) | Viewed by 6506

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Konstantin Titov
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geophysics, Saint Petersburg State University, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Interests: electrochemistry; hydraulics; engineering geology; environment; groundwater; water quality; environmental impact assessment; hydrological modeling; water resource management; mining geology and geophysics
Dr. Damien Jougnot
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
UMR 7619 METIS, Sorbonne Université, Paris, France
Interests: hydrogeology; hydrogeophysics; near surface geophysics; environmental geophysics; petrophysics
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With the rapid growth of the world’s population, having enough potable water for everyone presents a significant challenge for society. Water resources are in a so-called critical zone, which must be carefully investigated. As an alternative to intrusive methods such as drilling, pumping, and sampling, geophysics is gaining ground as a method of choice for hydrogeologists as it provides subsurface data with an unprecedentedly high spatial and temporal resolution in a non-invasive manner. Geophysical methods are allowing us to investigate complex subsurface environments and to non-intrusively monitor their dynamics, from fluid flow to transport and (bio-)geochemical reactions. Over the last two decades, the field of hydrogeophysics has developed rapidly, shifting from a paradigm of static imaging of structures to dynamic 4D monitoring of subsurface processes. However, hydrogeophysical methods provide indirect assessments of these processes. There is, therefore, a need for urgent development of constitutive relationships and innovative strategies to relate geophysical signals and relevant properties to characterize the critical zone.

This Special Issue welcomes submissions addressing advances in hydrogeophysics, that is, the acquisition, processing, analysis, and interpretation of data obtained from geophysical methods applied to hydrological or critical zone studies. The expected contributions span from novel techniques for coupled or joint inversion to improvements in our understanding of the links between hydrological and geophysical properties, while the considered scales range from laboratory and numerical petrophysical experiments to critical zone observatories. Field applications and case studies in hydrogeophysics, biogeophysics, and/or engineering geophysics that demonstrate the successful use of geophysical methods are also welcome.

Prof. Dr. Konstantin Titov
Dr. Damien Jougnot
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • hydrogeophysics
  • hydrogeology
  • biogeophysics
  • contaminant
  • transfer and reactivity
  • critical zone
  • near-surface geophysics
  • petrophysics

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Interpreting Self-Potential Signal during Reactive Transport: Application to Calcite Dissolution and Precipitation
Water 2022, 14(10), 1632; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14101632 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1105
Abstract
Geochemistry and reactive transport play a critical role in many fields. In particular, calcite dissolution and precipitation are chemical processes occurring ubiquitously in the Earth’s subsurface. Therefore, understanding and quantifying them are necessary for various applications (e.g., water resources, reservoirs, geo-engineering). These fundamental [...] Read more.
Geochemistry and reactive transport play a critical role in many fields. In particular, calcite dissolution and precipitation are chemical processes occurring ubiquitously in the Earth’s subsurface. Therefore, understanding and quantifying them are necessary for various applications (e.g., water resources, reservoirs, geo-engineering). These fundamental geochemical processes can be monitored using the self-potential (SP) method, which is sensitive to pore space changes, water mineralization, and mineral–solution interactions. However, there is a lack of physics-based models linking geochemical processes to the SP response. Thus, in this study, we develop the first geochemical–geophysical fully coupled multi-species numerical workflow to predict the SP electrochemical response. This workflow is based on reactive transport simulation and the computation of a new expression for the electro-diffusive coupling for multiple ionic species. We apply this workflow to calcite dissolution and precipitation experiments, performed for this study and focused on SP monitoring alternating with sample electrical conductivity (EC) measurements. We carried out this experimental part on a column packed with calcite grains, equipped for multichannel SP and EC monitoring and subjected to alternating dissolution or precipitation conditions. From this combined experimental investigation and numerical analysis, the SP method shows clear responses related to ionic concentration gradients, well reproduced with electro-diffusive simulation, and no measurable electrokinetic coupling. This novel coupled approach allows us to determine and predict the location of the reactive zone. The workflow developed for this study opens new perspectives for SP applications to characterize biogeochemical processes in reactive porous media. Full article
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Article
Electromagnetic Induction Is a Fast and Non-Destructive Approach to Estimate the Influence of Subsurface Heterogeneity on Forest Canopy Structure
Water 2021, 13(22), 3218; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223218 - 13 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 981
Abstract
The spatial forest structure that drives the functioning of these ecosystems and their response to global change is closely linked to edaphic conditions. However, the latter properties are particularly difficult to characterize in forest areas developed on karst, where soil is highly rocky [...] Read more.
The spatial forest structure that drives the functioning of these ecosystems and their response to global change is closely linked to edaphic conditions. However, the latter properties are particularly difficult to characterize in forest areas developed on karst, where soil is highly rocky and heterogeneous. In this work, we investigated whether geophysics, and more specifically electromagnetic induction (EMI), can provide a better understanding of forest structure. We use EMI (EM31, Geonics Limited, Ontario, Canada) to study the spatial variability of ground properties in two different Mediterranean forests. A naturally post-fire regenerated forest composed of Aleppo pines and Holm oaks and a monospecific plantation of Altlas cedar. To better interpret EMI results, we used electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), soil depth surveys, and field observations. Vegetation was also characterized using hemispherical photographs that allowed to calculate plant area index (PAI). Our results show that the variability of ground properties contribute to explaining the variability in the vegetation cover development (plant area index). Vegetation density is higher in areas where the soil is deeper. We showed a significant correlation between edaphic conditions and tree development in the naturally regenerated forest, but this relationship is clearly weaker in the cedar plantation. We hypothesized that regular planting after subsoiling, as well as sylvicultural practices (thinning and pruning) influenced the expected relationship between vegetation structure and soil conditions measured by EMI. This work opens up new research avenues to better understand the interplay between soil and subsoil variability and forest response to climate change. Full article
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Article
Hydrogeophysical Assessment of the Critical Zone below a Golf Course Irrigated with Reclaimed Water close to Volcanic Caldera
Water 2021, 13(17), 2400; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13172400 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1520
Abstract
The geometry and the hydraulic properties of the unsaturated zone is often difficult to evaluate from traditional soil sampling techniques. Soil samples typically provide only data of the upper layers and boreholes are expensive and only provide spotted information. Non-destructive geophysical methods and [...] Read more.
The geometry and the hydraulic properties of the unsaturated zone is often difficult to evaluate from traditional soil sampling techniques. Soil samples typically provide only data of the upper layers and boreholes are expensive and only provide spotted information. Non-destructive geophysical methods and among them, electrical resistivity tomography can be applied in complex geological environments such as volcanic areas, where lavas and unconsolidated pyroclastic deposits dominate. They have a wide variability of hydraulic properties due to textural characteristics and modification processes suh as compaction, fracturation and weathering. To characterize the subsurface geology below the golf course of Bandama (Gran Canaria) a detailed electrical resistivity tomography survey has been conducted. This technique allowed us to define the geometry of the geological formations because of their high electrical resistivity contrasts. Subsequently, undisturbed soil and pyroclastic deposits samples were taken in representative outcrops for quantifying the hydraulic conductivity in the laboratory where the parametric electrical resistivity was measured in the field. A statistical correlation between the two variables has been obtained and a 3D model transit time of water infiltration through the vadose zone has been built to assess the vulnerability of the aquifers located below the golf course irrigated with reclaimed water. Full article
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Article
Influence of Pore Size Distribution on the Electrokinetic Coupling Coefficient in Two-Phase Flow Conditions
Water 2021, 13(17), 2316; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13172316 - 24 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1527
Abstract
Streaming potential is a promising method for a variety of hydrogeophysical applications, including the characterisation of the critical zone, contaminant transport or saline intrusion. A simple bundle of capillary tubes model that accounts for realistic pore and pore throat size distribution of porous [...] Read more.
Streaming potential is a promising method for a variety of hydrogeophysical applications, including the characterisation of the critical zone, contaminant transport or saline intrusion. A simple bundle of capillary tubes model that accounts for realistic pore and pore throat size distribution of porous rocks is presented in this paper to simulate the electrokinetic coupling coefficient and compared with previously published models. In contrast to previous studies, the non-monotonic pore size distribution function used in our model relies on experimental data for Berea sandstone samples. In our approach, we combined this explicit capillary size distribution with the alternating radius of each capillary tube to mimic pores and pore throats of real rocks. The simulation results obtained with our model predicts water saturation dependence of the relative electrokinetic coupling coefficient more accurately compared with previous studies. Compared with previous studies, our simulation results demonstrate that the relative coupling coefficient remains stable at higher water saturations but vanishes to zero more rapidly as water saturation approaches the irreducible value. This prediction is consistent with the published experimental data. Moreover, our model was more accurate compared with previously published studies in computing the true irreducible water saturation relative to the value reported in an experimental study on a Berea sandstone sample saturated with tap water and liquid CO2. Further modifications, including explicit modelling of the capillary trapping of the non-wetting phase, are required to improve the accuracy of the model. Full article
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