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May 2012

Geophysical Investigation for


Wind Turbine Foundation Sites at Ashegoda
Wind Farm Project

Client: Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation
Consultant: Terrasol
Contractor: Vergnet
By
Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher
(Assist. Professor of Geophysics, Mekelle University)
Mr. Shishay Tadios
(Lecturer of Engineering Geology, Mekelle University)

(Mekelle University)



Contents


1. Introduction ................................................................................................................................ 1
2. Data Acquisition ........................................................................................................................ 4
3. Data Processing and Results ...................................................................................................... 6
4. Interpretations and Discussions ................................................................................................ 11
4.1 Site-42 ................................................................................................................................. 12
4.2 Site-44 ................................................................................................................................. 16
4.3 Site-44B ............................................................................................................................... 20
5. Conclusion and Recommendations .......................................................................................... 24
5.1 Conclusions ......................................................................................................................... 24
5.2 Recommendations ............................................................................................................... 25
References ..................................................................................................................................... 27


Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
Tel., +251-914-004361 E-Mail: brishg2000@yahoo.com Page 1

1. Introduction

Geophysics is the only branch of the earth sciences that can truly ``look`` into the solid earth
(Musset and Khan, 2000). Geophysics ``sees`` the Earth in terms of its physical properties,
which complement the usual types of geological information. A geophysical survey can
provide detailed information about the subsurface in very little time. Compare the cost of
obtaining similar information purely through manual excavation or drilling, a geophysical
survey is cost effective and enabling us to cover several hectares per day for site
characterization or detailed cross-sectional investigations. Most of the geophysical
techniques are environmentally friendly and there are no risks of exposing harmful waste or
aggravating ground conditions which are a frequent limitation of conventional ground
exploration methods.

A geophysical survey was carried out in May 2012 at Ashegoda area for wind turbine
foundation site investigation. The aim was in general to identify and characterize the
subsurface geology down to a depth of 30 meters and to investigate the cause and extent of
the anomalous ground conditions such as:
- Identifying the different lithological units and geological structures existing in the
site
- Identifying the nature and distribution of underground karstic features (cavities)
existing in the site (as the area is mainly dominated by carbonate rocks, presence of
solution cavities is expected), and
- Investigating other geological features of geotechnical significance, for example,
determining the depth to the bed rock, determining overburden sediment thickness,
and weathered zones.

This report presents the findings of the geophysical surveys and the ground investigations,
discusses the interpretive ground conditions revealed by the investigations and any potential
impacts on the proposed development, presents a risk assessment and makes recommendations
for remedial measures and any additional fieldworks.
Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
Tel., +251-914-004361 E-Mail: brishg2000@yahoo.com Page 2

To achieve the above objectives, 2D electrical resistivity imagings have been conducted at three
wind turbine foundation sites (Site-42, Site-44, and Site-44B).

The interpretations carried out in this report and the opinions and comments expressed are based
on a 2D Electrical Resistivity surveys. There may, however, be conditions pertaining at the site
which have not been disclosed by the investigation and which therefore could not be taken into
account. Using these techniques we can be able to confirm the presence of anomalous features in
the subsurface of the three proposed sites.

Resistivity of the subsurface may vary both vertically and horizontally in two dimensional (2D).
To investigate such electrical structures, the electrode arrays need to be both expanded and
moved laterally. At present, field techniques and modern instruments to carry out 2D and 3D
resistivity surveys are well developed. 2D electrical resistivity imaging/tomography surveys are
usually carried out using a large number of electrodes connected to a multi-core cable along a
single survey line or profile (e.g., Gebregziabher et al., 2010 and Gebregziabher, 2011). Relative
to the 1D (VES or Profiling), a more accurate model of the subsurface is a 2D model where the
resistivity changes in the vertical direction as well as in the horizontal direction along the survey
line can be observed.

The principle of electrical resistivity imaging is based on the injection of a direct current (DC) to
the earths subsurface and measurement of the induced potential difference or voltage (Fig. 1.1).
Electric current (the flow of electric charges) is pumped to the ground by a driving force called
voltage (potential difference) from a battery or generator. When both the positive and negative
terminals of the DC source voltage are attached to the ground using conductive wires (called
electrodes), electrons start to flow through the earths subsurface from the negative terminal to
the positive terminal of the DC source (conventionally the current direction is the reverse). A
measure of the material (earth) to oppose the passage of the electric current is called electrical
resistance and like any other semi conductor materials, the earth is acting as a resistor.
Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
Tel., +251-914-004361 E-Mail: brishg2000@yahoo.com Page 3


Figure 1.1 Current flow (solid lines) radiating out from a source electrode (C
1
) and converging on a sink
electrode (C
2
) and equipotential surfaces (dashed lines) at P
1
and P
2
. Modified after Kndel et al. (2007).

The resistivity measurements are normally made by injecting current into the ground through
two current electrodes C
1
and C
2
, and measuring the resulting voltage difference ( V A ) at two
potential electrodes P
1
and P
2
as shown in Fig 1.1. The potential difference is then given by
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ = = A
2 2 1 2 2 1 1 1
2 1
1 1 1 1
2
p c p c p c p c
p p
r r r r
I
V V V
t


Rearranging the above equation for the resistivity, it becomes
I
V
K
a
A
=
where
(
(
(
(

+
=
2 2 1 2 2 1 1 1
1 1 1 1
2
p c p c p c p c
r r r r
K
t
is called the geometric factor which depends on the
arrangement of the four electrodes. After arranging the distances (r) between the current and
potential electrodes according to some well-known configurations one can determine the
resistivity of the ground.
Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
Tel., +251-914-004361 E-Mail: brishg2000@yahoo.com Page 4

2. Data Acquisition

2D electrical resistivity surveys using Wenner array have been conducted at three wind turbine
foundation sites (Site-42, Site-44, and Site-44B) of the Ashegoda wind farm project east of
Mekelle in May, 2012. Each site has covered using three parallel survey lines (profiles) of 2D
Electrical Resistivity Imaging with 10 meters spacing between the lines (Fig. 2.1).

Figure 2.1 Location of the geophysical survey lines and topography of the study area (GPS readings are
in Adindan).

Field techniques and equipment to carry out 2D and 3D resistivity surveys are fairly well
developed. 2D electrical imaging/tomography surveys are usually carried out using a large
number of electrodes connected to a multi-core cable along a single survey line. The instruments
Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
Tel., +251-914-004361 E-Mail: brishg2000@yahoo.com Page 5

used for these surveys include a multi-electrode and multi-channel measuring device with
decoders (switching boxes), 64 stainless steel electrodes which are durable and have fairly low
self-potentials, two multi-core cables for connecting the 64 electrodes, and a power supply
battery. The measuring device was SAS4000 terrameter manufactured by ABEM-Sweden with a
power supply 12V external battery. It measures both the transmitted current and voltage and
stores these quantities together with the resistivity data. The switching box called lund imaging
system decodes measurements and sent to the terrameter by activating and deactivating a set of
four electrodes step by step. The electrodes location and elevation were measured by GPS.

During our data acquisition, we select the Wenner-alpha array technique for all the nine lines
because it has a good vertical resolution and it is an attractive choice for surveys in a noisy area
due to its high signal strength.

Sites Profiles Starting Point End Point Remarks
Longitude Latitude Longitude Latitude

Site-42
Line-1 567033 1489863 566896 1489994 Across the excavated center
Line-2 567027 1489856 566890 1489987 10 m south of line-1
Line-3 567039 1489870 566902 1490001 10 m north of line-1

Site-44
Line-1 566770 1490535 566959 1490535 Across the excavated center
Line-2 566770 1490525 566959 1490525 10 m south of line-1
Line-3 566770 1490545 566959 1490545 10 m north of line-1

Site-44B
Line-1 566860 1490510 567032 1490430 Across the proposed site
Line-2 566863 1490519 567035 1490439 10 m north of line-1
Line-3 566857 1490501 567029 1490421 10 m south of line-1

Table 2.1 GPS location of the survey lines at sites-42, -44, and -44B (GPS readings are in Adindan).

Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
Tel., +251-914-004361 E-Mail: brishg2000@yahoo.com Page 6

Each profile(line) was 189m long across the excavated sites using the Wenner-alpha array of
minimum electrode spacing 3m and a maximum of 63 m so that to attain a maximum depth of
investigation down to 30 meters. The starting and last positions of the survey lines are shown in
table 2.1. The topography is a little bit rugged due to nature and manmade excavations and it
varies from 2482 m to 2502m above sea level (Fig. 2.1).

The measured apparent resistivity values can be shown as a pseudo-section, which involves an
arbitrary allocation of the position of the apparent resistivity data points. The pseudo-section
does not reflect the actual resistivity distribution in the subsurface, because the potential fields
are deformed due to heterogeneity and topographical effects. Therefore, 2D and 3D inversion
algorithms are used to calculate a true resistivity model from the apparent resistivity data.
3. Data Processing and Results

In 2D electrical resistivity imaging, the aim of inversion is to reconstruct a true resistivity
distribution in the subsurface by creating a 2D resistivity model, which has a model response that
is similar to the measured apparent resistivity data.

The collected data are plotted in the form of pseudo-sections which can provide an initial picture
of the subsurface geology (e.g., Fig. 3.1a top). However, a 2D inversion of the measured data is
necessary for the final interpretation by transforming the apparent resistivities and pseudo-depths
into a 2D true resistivity model. In recent years, several computer programs have been developed
to carry out such inversions (e.g., Loke and Barker, 1996 and Gnther, 2004). Our data is
processed by applying a smoothness-constrained inversion using a Finite-element based software
RES2DINV ver.3.54.44 (Geotomo software, Malaysia) in order to create 2D subsurface
resistivity models.

Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
Tel., +251-914-004361 E-Mail: brishg2000@yahoo.com Page 7

The final model is calculated in an iteration process which includes step-by-step forward
modeling and inversion. After an initial resistivity model is chosen and parameterized, the model
responses (apparent resistivities) are calculated using the forward modeling in order to compare
them with the measured apparent resistivities. The program compares the forward modeling
results with the measured data, the quality of the fit is determined and the parameter values for
the next iteration step are specified. Then, the initial model is modified in each iteration using
different algorithms (for example, using Gauss-Newton) to minimize the misfits between the
calculated and measured apparent resistivities. This process is continued until a selected
minimum error (misfit) is reached for the maximum number of iterations. When the misfit is
minimized with a lower RMS error, the inversion stops and outputs the final resistivity model.

After the inversion stops, the model response (calculated data) and the misfits between the
measured and calculated data are analyzed. The calculated data can be displayed in the same way
like the measured data, for example, as shown in Fig. 3.1a (middle). The data misfit, which is the
difference between the measured and calculated data divided by the measured data in percent,
helps to see how the observed data are fitted by the model. The final inverted model result with
true resistivity and depth is displayed, for example, as shown in Fig. 3.1a (bottom).

Site-42
a
b
c
Figure 3.1 Site-42: Comparison of measured data (top), calculated or
model response (middle), and the 2D electrical resistivity inverted models
(bottom) for line-1(a), line-2(b), line-3(c).






Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
Tel., +251-914-004361 E-Mail: brishg2000@yahoo.com Page 9

Site-44
a
b

c

Figure 3.2 Site-44: Comparison of measured data (top), calculated or
model response (middle), and the 2D electrical resistivity inverted models
(bottom) for line-1(a), line-2(b), line-3(c).





Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
Tel., +251-914-004361 E-Mail: brishg2000@yahoo.com Page 10

Site-44B
a
b


c
Figure 3.3 Site-44B: Comparison of measured data (top), calculated or
model response (middle), and the 2D electrical resistivity inverted models
(bottom) for line-1(a), line-2(b), line-3(c).



4. Interpretations and Discussions

The purpose of the geophysical surveys is interpretation in terms of geology. The values of
resistivity provide only a rough indication of what the lithologies are. Even within a single
formation the resistivity often varies because there may be a water table or due to abrupt changes
in salinity or clay content. Conversely, a geological boundary may not be detectable if it
separates layers with small resistivity contrast. Geological interpretation must therefore be based
on a sound knowledge of the geology as revealed by borehole data.

The final result of a 2D resistivity survey is cross-sections of the calculated rock resistivity
model along the profile line as shown in Figs. 4.1- 4.9. These cross-sections should be assessed
in terms of the lithological and structural interpretation of the resistivity data. The assessment of
inversion results is ambiguous due to the limited number of values and precision of the data. This
ambiguity is influenced by the data coverage (density), the errors in the data, sensitivity of the
electrode configuration, and the degree of misfits between the observed and predicted data. To
reduce the ambiguity, knowledge of the geology and borehole logs are necessary.

Since there are two borehole data in the study area (at Site-42 and Site-44) and by including the
geological history and information from the stratigraphy of the local geology, we interpret easily
the geo-electrical layers of the nine profiles at the three sites. From the geological observation
the area is covered with old horizontally stratified sedimentary rocks of limestone, marl and
shale intercalations which are later disturbed or uplifted by the younger age dolerite igneous
intrusions. Accordingly, the interpretations of the geo-electrical layers of the three sites are
discussed as follows.



Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
Tel., +251-914-004361 E-Mail: brishg2000@yahoo.com Page 12

4.1 Site-42

This site has been investigated using three parallel lines (lines-1, -2, and -3) from southeast to the
northwest directions of spacing about 10 meters between the lines. The 2D electrical resistivity
tomography of each line has been discussed as follows.

From the geo-electrical results of the three lines, four lithological layers are interpreted as highly
fractured limestone, slightly weathered limestone, marl-shale intercalation, and dolerite
intrusions (Fig. 4.1).

The top part of this site is covered by a highly fractured limestone with the highest resistivities
which reaches from 600 ohm.m to 20,000 ohm.m. Such very high resistivities could be due to the
air filled fracture zones and karsts near to the surface. The maximum thickness is at the center
and northwest direction of the site that goes down to 8 meters depth. This layer is underlain by a
limestone with less degree of fracturing as it is also revealed from borehole information, which is
less than 4 meters thick. As shown from the interpreted results of the three lines (Fig. 4.1), the
marl-shale intercalation layer is below the limestone layer and it is not continuous laterally
because of dolerite dykes of igneous intrusions at two places. Normally, the marl-shale
intercalation rock unit shows the lowest resistivities (less than 80 ohm.m) that are due to the
conductivity nature of the clay minerals inside the shale rocks. The dolerite dykes are intruded
near to the surface at the left and right sides of the excavated foundation site (WEC-42) and
show intermediate resistivities from 100 ohm.m to 400 ohm.m (Fig. 4.1, middle). This is
relatively lower resistivity for dolerites and that might be due to high degree of weathering.

To see geological structures such as fractures and weak zones near to the floor of the excavated
site (WEC-42), a different processing technique is applied only for data between x=57 meter and
x=159 meter (Fig. 4.2). The aim of this processing technique is to amplify the vertical structures
so that to improve our understanding of weak zones such as fractures and vertical contacts at
shallow depths but with better resolution and scale near to the foundation site.

Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
Tel., +251-914-004361 E-Mail: brishg2000@yahoo.com Page 13


Figure 4.1 Site-42: Interpreted 2D electrical resistivity models for; line-2(top), line-1(middle), and line-
3(bottom).
karsts
karst
karsts
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Figure 4.2 Site-42: Shallow interpretations of 2D electrical resistivity models for; line-2(top), line-
1(middle), and line-3(bottom).
Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
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Figure 4.3 Site-42: Horizontal resistivity sections at different depths derived from the 2D inversion
results. Dot lines indicate the survey lines.
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Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
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Therefore, based on the interpreted geo-electrical layers in Fig. 4.2(middle), the fractures are
clearly observed at the floor of the excavated foundation site (WEC-42) that go down to 3 meters
depth. The top of the dolerite could be found at about 7 meters depth below the floor of WEC-42
or 11 meters below the platform which is also approved by the borehole information.

Horizontal resistivity sections for different depths can also be derived from the data of the 2D
profiles (Fig. 4.3). Accordingly, the lithologies interpreted from the resistivity values are mapped
at depths of 1 m, 5 m, and 18 m. At shallow depths the study area is mainly covered by the high
resistive fractured limestone. At 5 meters depth, the limestone covers most of the area but
pinches out towards southeast of the site. At 18 meters depth two dolerite dykes are mapped and
both of them are elongated almost in the north-south directions.

4.2 Site-44
At site-44 five lithological layers are interpreted from the 2D-electrical resistivity images of the
three lines (Fig. 4.4). At the surface most of the area is covered with a thin layer of limestone
about 1.5 m thick. This is underlain by a thin marl-shale intercalation unit which is about 4 m
thick. A limestone layer is again repeated at 6 meters depth below the platforms at the center and
eastern part of the site with a maximum thickness of about 12 m (e.g., east of line-1). This layer
is again underlain by marl-shale intercalation layers at the western and eastern part of the survey
lines.

Below the center of the three lines, a huge dolerite dyke is intruded. The top of the dolerite dyke
is found at a minimum depth of 6 meters from the platform, for example, at the centers of line-2,
line-3, and at x=78 m of line-1 (Fig. 4.4). The maximum depth for the top of the dolerite is found
at about 18 meters from the platform of line-1 exactly 14 meters below the excavated floor of the
foundation site WEC-44. Under the floor of WEC-44, a 3 m thick limestone layer is underlain by
about 9 m thick marl-shale intercalations that might be underlain by a 2 m thick limestone on top
of the dolerite intrusion as shown in Fig. 4.4(middle). The highest resistivities of the dolerite
indicate that the dolerite is massive especially towards southern part of the site.
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Figure 4.4 Site-44: Interpreted 2D electrical resistivity models for; line-3(top), line-1(middle), and line-
2(bottom).
Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

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Figure 4.5 Site-44: Shallow interpretations of 2D electrical resistivity models for; line-3(top), line-
1(middle), and line-2(bottom).
Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
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Similar to site-42, a special processing technique is also applied using only the data near to the
platforms by giving more weight to the vertical structures so that to see the extent of fractures
and vertical weak zones within the lithologic units (Fig. 4.5). Accordingly, the open or air filled
fractures can be observed with higher resistivity as shown, for example, at the floor of WEC-44
of Fig. 4.5(middle). One of the fractures (at x-102 of line-1) could go down to 4 meters depth but
the rest fractures go not more than 2 meters depth. At line-3 two fracture zones are also detected
at x=102 m and x=112 m that are filled with marl and shale.
As shown in Fig. 4.6 horizontal resistivity sections are prepared at 1m, 5m, 10m, and 18m depths
from the data of the 2D profiles. At shallow depths around WEC-44, it is mainly covered by the
low resistivity shale and marl intercalations. At 5 meters depth, half of the floor of the excavated
site lies over a thick marl-shale intercalation at the eastern part. But its western half floor is
underlain by dolerite. At 18 meters depth the whole floor will be over dolerite dykes.

Figure 4.6 Site-44: Horizontal resistivity sections at different depths derived from the 2D inversion
results. Dot lines indicate the survey lines.
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4.3 Site-44B

From the three parallel 2D-electrical resistivity images, five lithological layers are interpreted at
this site (Fig. 4.7). A thin limestone layer, which is about 2 m thick, is detected at the surface of
the three lines towards the northwest directions. This thin limestone layer is underlain by a marl-
shale intercalation layer with a relatively lower resistivities. The maximum thickness of this
lithologic layer is about 5 meters and found exposed at the surface between x=60 m and x=165 m
at line-2 as shown in Fig. 4.7(top). By comparing its relative thicknesses from the three lines, the
marl-shale layer is getting thicker and thicker toward the northern part of the site. The third layer
is interpreted as a very thick limestone with a maximum thickness of 20 meters towards the
southeast. This is with a relatively higher resistivity and it is found exposed to the surface at the
southern and southeastern part of the site. The fourth geo-electrical layer is interpreted as the
marl-shale intercalation with a relatively lower resistivity below 20 meters from the platform
whereas; at line-3 this layer is detected at about 15 meters depth. This might be pushed upwards
by a dolerite intrusion as clearly seen from line-3 in Fig. 4.7(bottom). The top to the dolerite
dyke is also detected from lines-1 and -2 but at about 30 meters depth from the platform as
shown in Figs. 4.7(top and middle).

To see the degree of fracturing a vertical structure enhancing processing technique is applied for
data sets between x = 66 m and x = 126 m of the three lines as shown in Fig. 4.8. Based on the
results, high degree of fracturing is observed at the top part of the limestone especially at lines-1
and -3 where it is exposed to the surface. But at line-2, the limestone is overlain or covered by 3
to 5 meter thick marl-shale intercalation layer and no fractures are clearly observed. This might
be due to low degree of weathering relative to the limestone exposed at the surface as shown in
lines-1 and -3. Therefore, based on the interpreted results, the fractures detected at lines-1 and -3
could go down to 3 meters depth.
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Figure 4.7 Site-44B: Interpreted 2D electrical resistivity models for; line-2(top), line-1(middle), and line-
3(bottom).
Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
Tel., +251-914-004361 E-Mail: brishg2000@yahoo.com Page 22


Figure 4.8 Site-44B: Shallow interpretations of 2D electrical resistivity models for; line-2(top), line-
1(middle), and line-3(bottom).
Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
Tel., +251-914-004361 E-Mail: brishg2000@yahoo.com Page 23


Figure 4.9 Site-44B: Horizontal resistivity sections at different depths derived from the 2D inversion
results. Dot lines indicate the survey lines.

To see the lateral continuity of the different lithologies, contacts, and structures four slices are
mapped from the 2D geo-electrical layers (Fig. 4.9). At the surface (about 1m depth), the
lithologic contacts are mapped between limestone and marl-shale intercalations. At about 4 m
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depth the marl-shale intercalation layer increases its coverage from the northwest towards the
center. At the center and southeast part the marl-shale intercalation layer disappear and it is only
covered by a limestone layer especially towards the southern part of the site. But at 10 meters
depth the limestone is more dominant towards the northern part. At 18 m depth the only
dominant layer is the marl-shale intercalations.
5. Conclusion and Recommendations
5.1 Conclusions

The application of different geophysical methods can reveal features or anomalies in the
subsurface depending on their physical properties. In this work, the aim of the 2D electrical
resistivity surveys were primarily to investigate dissolution zones such as fractures and karsts
and secondary to differentiate the different lithologies of the subsurface by interpreting in terms
of their resistivity distributions, geometry and depth of the anomalies. Therefore, the lithologies,
fractures and dissolution zones are investigated using 2D electrical resistivity imaging surveys by
incorporating information also from boreholes and regional geology.
The 2D electrical resistivity investigation has improved our understanding of the relationships
between the different rock types and the geological structures. All the inversion results show a
resistivity contrast between the high resistive fractured limestone and dolerite intrusions, and the
low resistive marl-shale intercalations (Figs. 4.1-4.9). Therefore, based on the 2D electrical
resistivity results three lithologic types are interpreted as limestone, marl-shale intercalations,
and dolerite igneous intrusions.
The geology of the area includes horizontally stratified sedimentary rocks such as limestone-
marl-shale intercalations that are older in age. These layers are later disturbed by a relatively
younger age igneous intrusions called dolerite dykes. The effects of the dolerite dykes are both in
large scale and small scales. A large area could be uplifted and forms hills that can be covered
with thick limestone-marl-shale intercalations at the top. But within such thick sedimentary
successions at the top of huge dolerite intrusions, secondary dolerite dykes and sills can be
intruded in smaller scales. These can cause fracturing and weakzones in the sedimentary rocks
Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
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when they are uplifted by the dolerite intrusions. Therefore, limestones near to dolerite intrusions
are highly affected by fracturing than those limestones far away from the igneous intrusions.
Based on the objectives and the interpreted results from the geophysical investigations, the
following conclusions are drawn about the three foundation sites in the study area.
1. The high degree of limestone fractures observed at the floor of WEC-42 and -44 are due
to the intrusion of small scale dolerite dykes at shallower depths. The detected dolerite
dykes are trending along N-S directions at both sites and found near to the surface at
about 8 meters depth in site-42 and 6 meters depth in site-44. From the three sites, Site-
44B will have fewer disturbances since the top of the dolerite dykes are found at about 30
meters depth.
2. No caves or karsts are detected below the proposed foundation sites. But at site-42, the
upper limestone has more karstifications as shown in Fig. 4.1. This is common if a thick
limestone layer is found at the surface due to dissolution of chemical weathering when it
is in contact with acidic rain.
3. Most of the fractures observed at the floors of WEC-42 and WEC-44 extends down to 3
meters depth. But a fracture at the right side of WEC-44 (at x=102m), is the largest
detected fracture that can go down to 5 meters depth from the floor of the excavated site.
The alignments of the main fractures are similar to the dolerite dykes that trend almost in
the N-S directions. This could imply that the intrusions of the dolerite dykes are the
causes for these fractures. At site-44B, the limestone will have less degree of fracturing
below the surfaces. But near to the surface there are some fractures which might be due
to high degree of weathering.

5.2 Recommendations

Based on the outcomes of the geophysical survey, it is possible to forward the following
recommendations.
Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
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1. From the geophysical investigation results the foundation sites of WEC-42 and -44 are
highly fractured. Hence the rock masses in the foundation sites need ground improvement
through grouting or selecting other sites, for example, Site-44B instead of Site-44.

2. Usually limestones near to dykes are highly fractured and weathered due to the igneous
intrusion effects. Moreover, they can also form karsts and caves due to chemical
weathering of dissolution process when they are in contact with acidic water. Therefore,
identifying the location of dykes and karsts is important to select better foundation sites.

3. Borehole site selection and geotechnical investigations become more effective if they are
done based on geophysical investigation results. Hence, we recommend geophysical
investigations such as 2D electrical resistivity tomography prior to geotechnical
investigations.
















Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
Tel., +251-914-004361 E-Mail: brishg2000@yahoo.com Page 27

References

Gebregziabher, B. (2003) Integrated Geophysical methods to investigate geological structures and
hydrostratigraphic unit at Aynalem, SE Mekelle. MSc.Thesis, AAU Libraries-Earth Sciences, Addis
Ababa, Ethiopia.

Gebregziabher, B., Gnther, T., and Wiederhold, H. (2010) Joint inversion of seismic refraction and
electrical resistivity tomography to investigate sinkholes. Extended abs., European Association of
Geoscientists & Engineers (EAGE) - Near Surface 2010, Sep. 6 8, Zurich, Switzerland.

Gebregziabher, B. (2011) Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Studies for Sinkhole Problems
Using Seismic Reflection, Refraction Tomography, Electrical Resistivity Imaging, and Joint Inversions.
Ph.D. Thesis, TIBUB online at http://edok01.tib.uni-hannover.de/edoks/e01dh11/646420569.

Gnther, T. (2004) Inversion methods and resolution analysis for the 2D/3D reconstruction of resistivity
structures from DC measurements. PhD thesis, University of Mining and Technology Freiberg. Available
at http://fridolin.tu-freiberg.de.

Loke, M.H. and Barker, R.D. (1996) Rapid leas-squares inversion of apparent resistivity pseudosections
by a quasi-Newton method. Geophysical prospecting, 44, 131-152.

Mussett, A.E. and Khan, M. A. (2000) Looking into the earth, an introduction to geological geophysics.
Cambridge University press. UK pp. 183-211.







Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
Tel., +251-914-004361 E-Mail: brishg2000@yahoo.com Page 28

Resume

Berhanu Gebregziabher Gared (PhD)
Asst. Professor of Geophysics
Collage of Natural & Computational Sciences
Department of Earth Sciences, Mekelle University
P.O.Box 231, Mekelle, Ethiopia
Tel.: +251914004361 (mobile)
E-mail: brishg2000@yahoo.com
Homepage: www.mu.edu.et

Personal Profile
Date of Birth : 19 February 1977
Place of Birth : Tigray, Ethiopia
Sex : Male
Family status : Married and three children
Nationality : Ethiopian
Language : English, Amharic, Tigrigna, German (intermediate), Dutch (intermediate).

Educational Background
- Ph.D. in Applied Geophysics from Leibniz University of Hannover, Germany, in February
2011.

- M.Sc. in Applied Geophysics from Addis Ababa University Department of Earth Sciences,
Ethiopia, in June 2003.

Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
Tel., +251-914-004361 E-Mail: brishg2000@yahoo.com Page 29

- B.Sc. in Geology from Addis Ababa University Department of Earth Sciences, Ethiopia, in
June 2000.

- Completed Secondary School with distinction at Atse Yohannes Secondary School, Mekelle,
Ethiopia, in March 1996.

- Completed Elementary School at Haik Elementary School, Haik, Ethiopia, in June 1990.


Work/Research Experiences
- Aprill 2011 Recent: Assistant Professor of Geophysics in Mekelle University, College of
Natural and Computational Science Department of Earth Sciences, Mekelle, Ethiopia.

- April 2007 - December 2010: Researcher in Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics
(LIAG), Hannover, Germany in seismic (P- and S-waves) reflection and refraction
tomography data processing and interpretations using ProMAX software.

- July 2003 - October 2006 : Lecturer in Mekelle University Department of Earth Sciences,
Ethiopia, and teaching Geophysics, Environmental Science, and Geology courses. Moreover
head of the registrar office for the Faculty of Science and Technology.

- July 2000 - September 2001: Graduate Assistant in Mekelle University department of Earth
Sciences, Ethiopia, and teaching Environmental Science and Geomorphology courses and
assisting and coordinating field terrain mapping techniques.



Community Services
Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
Tel., +251-914-004361 E-Mail: brishg2000@yahoo.com Page 30

- Dam site investigation using VES & 2D electrical resistivity imaging at AgulaE-Gerendho
area, in Tigray. The Government of National State of Tigray Bureau of Water Resources.

- Dam site investigation using VES and 2D electrical resistivity imaging at Illala-Embanshti
area, in Tigray. The Government of National State of Tigray Bureau of Water Resources.

- Dam site investigation using VES & 2D electrical resistivity imaging at Chelekot area, in
Tigray. The Government of National State of Tigray Bureau of Water Resources.


- Dam site investigation using Vertical Electrical Sounding (VES) at Hiwane area, in Tigray.
The Government of National State of Tigray Bureau of Water Resources.

- Mineral investigation using Magnetic and Induced Polarization (IP) methods at Shire, in
Tigray. Ezana Minning Plc.

- Bridge site investigation using 2D electrical resistivity imaging at Illala-Mekelle. Noami-
Consultant.

Publications
- Gebregziabher, B. (2011) Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Studies for Sinkhole
Problems Using Seismic Reflection, Refraction Tomography, Electrical Resistivity Imaging, and
Joint Inversions. Ph.D. Thesis, TIBUB online at http://edok01.tib.uni-
hannover.de/edoks/e01dh11/646420569.

- Gebregziabher, B., Gnther, T., and Wiederhold, H. (2010) Joint inversion of seismic refraction
and electrical resistivity tomography to investigate sinkholes. Extended abs., European
Association of Geoscientists & Engineers (EAGE) - Near Surface 2010, Sep. 6 8, Zurich,
Switzerland.

Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
Tel., +251-914-004361 E-Mail: brishg2000@yahoo.com Page 31

- Gebregziabher, B., Gnther, T., and Wiederhold, H. (2010) Electrical resistivity and seismic
refraction tomography applied for sinkhole investigations at Mnsterdorf, North Germany.
Poster Abs., 70 Jahrestagung der Deutschen Geophysikalischen Gesellschaft (DGG70), 15-18
March 2010, Bochum, Germany.

- Gebregziabher, B., Wiederhold, H., and Kirsch, R. (2009) Sinkhole investigations using P- and S-
wave reflection seismic in Schleswig-Holstein, North Germany. Poster Abs., 69 Jahrestagung der
Deutschen Geophysikalischen Gesellschaft (DGG69), 23-26 March 2009, Kiel, Germany.

- Wiederhold, H., Gebregziabher, B., and Kirsch, R. (2008) Geophysical investigation of a sinkhole
feature in Schleswig-Holstein. Extended abstract, EAGE Near Surface 2008, 15. 17.09.2008;
Krakow, Poland.

- Gebregziabher, B. (2003) Integrated Geophysical methods to investigate geological structures
and hydrostratigraphic unit at Aynalem, SE Mekelle. MSc.Thesis, AAU Libraries-Earth Sciences,
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

References:
1. Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Kmpel
Tel: +49 511-643-2101
Email: Hans-Joachim.kuempel@bgr.de
2. Dr. Helga Wiederhold
Tel: +49 511-643-3520
Email: Helga.wiederhold@liag-hannover.de
3. Prof. Dr. Charlotte Krawczyk
Tel: +49 511-643-3518
Email: lotte@liag-hannover.de
4. Prof. Dr. Jutta Winsemann
Tel: +49 511-762-2964
Email: winsemann@geowi.uni-hannover.de
Ashegoda Wind Turbine Foundation Sites Geophysical Investigation

Dr. Berhanu Gebregziabher (Assist. Professor of Geophysics, P.O.Box 231, Mekelle University)
Tel., +251-914-004361 E-Mail: brishg2000@yahoo.com Page 32