Study of Seasonal Rainfall Infiltration via Time-lapse Surface Electrical Resistivity Tomography: Case Study of Gamboa Area, Panama Canal Watershed
journal contributionposted on 01.12.2013, 00:00 authored by Alexis Mojica, Irving Díaz, Carlos A. Ho, Fred Ogden, Reinhardt Pinzón, José Fábrega, David Vega, Jan Hendrickx
The present investigation was focused on the variations in rainwater infiltration experienced by soils of Gamboa zone (Panama Canal Watershed) during various seasons of the year, employing a time-lapse analysis of electrical resistivity tomography (ERT). In 2009, a total of 3 geoelectrical tests were undertaken during the dry, transition and rainy seasons across a profile 47 m in length, strategically distributed on site. The results obtained in this study showed strong variations in calculated resistivity between these seasons, taking the dry season as a reference with decreases and increases of percent difference of resistivity between -20% and -100%, and between 50% and 100%, respectively. These decreases, when displayed through a sequence of time-lapse images, reveal a superficial extension of the water content variations along the entire profile, as well as strong inversion artifacts showing false increases of calculated electrical resistivity. Decreases are the product of the rainfall increase obtained in this type of tropical environment; permanent conductive anomalies in 3 tests are associated with the streams close to the study site. The results of this work were compared with a simulation resulting from a series of bi-dimensional models applied to the 3 studies evaluated: dry, transition and rainy seasons.