Application of Electrical Resistivity Tomography in Mapping Subsurface Hydrocarbon Contamination

  •  Elijah A. Ayolabi    
  •  Adetayo F. Folorunso    
  •  Samuel S. Idem    


The subsurface soil around Baruwa community was reportedly contaminated by hydrocarbon not because the area falls within oil-producing community but it suffers from inceasant leakage from petroleum pipeline that supply petroleum products to hydrocarbon terminar located within the area. Thus, to ascretain the extent of contamination of the subsurface soil around the area, an integrated geophysical methods involving vertical electrical sounding (VES) and electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) supported with induced polarization (IP) and spontaneous potential (SP) methods were carried out. The hydrocarbon contaminated layers were marked out beneath each VES point by high resistivity ranging between 943&Omegam and 4749&Omegam at a depth of 1 to 35.44m below the surface. Similarly, ERT result shows that the subsurface soil around the investigated area has been contaminated at a shallow depth of about 2m downward with resistivity value above 1000&Omegam. IP and SP data were Integrated to identify the sandy contaminated layers from clayey layer. IP value of 0 to 10mV/V and SP values of &saquo10mV were obtained over the sandy formation. The work shows that hydrocarbon leaking from the pipeline laid a few meters beneath the earth surface actually flow both upwardly (possibly due to seasonal variation in the water table which is usually close to the surface during rainy season) to the surface and downwardly at greater depth into the subsurface, through a porous medium - sandy layer. This may probably accounts for the reason while most of the handdug wells in the area are reportedly contaminated with hydrocarbon products.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.