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Resistivity imaging of electrokinetic transport in soil.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date06/1999
JournalEngineering Geology
Number of pages15
Original languageEnglish


Electrical resistance imaging of soil specimens during electrokinetic treatment is reported. Column experiments were carried out on Speswhite kaolinite contaminated with lead nitrate to levels both above and below its cation exchange capacity (CEC). Post test chemical analyses of the specimens and their pore fluids show that resistivity variations correlate with changes in pore fluid chemistry but do not show the extent of decontamination. Regions of high resistivity correspond with precipitation zones within the specimens whereas regions of low resistivity correspond with regions of high pore fluid ionic strength. Where the contamination level is below the CEC, decontamination is slow as lead ions are mostly sorbed to the clay so most of the current is carried by electrolysis products and clay dissolution products. A broad resistive zone forms over the cathode half where hydroxyl and HCO−3 ions formed in the cathode reservoir precipitate clay with dissolution products and other ions. Where the contamination level is above the CEC, lead ions are initially major charge carriers and decontamination over the bulk of the specimen is rapid. However, lead still precipitates immediately adjacent to the cathode reservoir to form a narrow resistive region.