Kirt Elliott

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Duane R. Hampton

Second Advisor

Dr. William Sauck

Third Advisor

Dr. Estella Atekwana

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


In many contamination sites where hydrocarbon is involved an accurate thickness of the contaminant can not be achieved through the most commonly used methods. The purpose of this study is to find an alternate method of determining a precise thickness and monitor the contaminant movement in conjunction with the current methods. Vertical resistivity electrode arrays were tested in a lab environment on singular probes and between probes. The arrays tested were the Wenner, dipole dipole, gradient, parallel and down-hole 3-arrays. Electrode pipes were constructed and placed into a sand tank where the hydrocarbon thickness and the water level could be controlled. Four configurations with different water levels and/or kerosene thickness' were used. The results show that the electrode arrays all have the ability to detect resistivity changes from the presence of hydrocarbon in the sand, depending upon several variables. The variables that caused the greatest change in resolution were the spacing of the electrodes, thickness of the kerosene and the electrode array used. As each electrode in an array crosses a resistivity boundary it forms a cusp. These cusps are different for each array, but remain similar for an individual array. There were many arrays that detected the kerosene.

Included in

Geology Commons