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GROUND RESISTIVITY SURVEY: WENNER METHOD

1.0 Overview

The most common pre-exploratory method of sub-surface reconnaissance is resistivity survey. This involves the introduction of low voltage into the ground through the potential electrodes and measuring the resistance from across a field of earth in the current electrodes. Two of the most common and practical arrays are the Wenner and the Schlumberger spreads. The Wenner is especially effective in electrical grounding requirement. 2.0 Survey Methodology

In the Wenner configuration, the two (2) potential electrodes are positioned between the two (2) current electrodes. The distances between any two (2) electrodes is fixed, so that for every set of readings, all four (4) electrodes are moved to new positions; thus, there is the same number of re-positioning as there are sets of readings as shown in the figure below: C1 a

P1
a

P2 a

C1

As mentioned low voltage is introduced into the middle electrodes using a portable power source and using equipment, the resistance is read at another instrument. This resistance is called the field resistance. The procedure is repeated several times as required and as specified as the maximum depth needed to be explored. Surveys in difficult sites such as build-up areas must adjust to the conditions in the field. If the intended point where the resistivity survey should be conducted is blocked by buildings, houses, roads or other structures, the point must be moved within reasonable distance from the original site. The new point must also take into consideration the final position of C1, C2, P1 and P2. These points must be driven into earth and not obstructed by non-conductive materials. However, should any one of these stakes strike an non-ideal location, it may be adjusted, including all the others so that the Wenner a can still be maintained. This reading should reflect a new Wenner k. In cases where there are offsets, whether in the perpendicular reading or in both, or whether the centroid of the parallel or perpendicular readings are not the same, the offsets should always be noted.

When it is impossible to make readings at the designated point (example: center of public squares, markets, watery locations), one must strive to get a reliable reading even for one direction even at large offsets, noting again the deviation. If this condition continues for several towers, the final resistivities in these noreading points shall be inferred from readings from bookend towers, that is, readings from sites that come before and after the no-reading towers. In cases where there are no readings due to obstruction or other reasons, the missing data may be filled up using stochastic methods or by computing for the geometric mean of the bookending towers. Test for isotropy, or continuity, must first be undertaken prior to employing by testing for the paired data for their covariance. 3.0 Interpretation

Data interpretation involves the transmutation of the field resistivities into apparent resistivities by multiplying the field resistivities and the field factor For Wenner array, it is equal to: k=2a (a = C1P1 = P1P2 = P2C2 in the above diagram). The apparent resistivities are then plotted on a double logarithmic paper against the distance of half of the potential spacing. Curve matching techniques may be employed to derive and separate the resistivities and thickness of each layer. Computer programs and applications, however, are more convenient and therefore, the more common method of interpretation for layer separation. 4.0 Survey Duration

Commonly, this type of survey completes at the average rate of six (6) double reading towers per day on level ground but on hilly and mountainous surfaces only four (4) may be completed each day.