Subsurface imaging of fluvial deposits of the Wisła River valley in Kraków (southern Poland) by 2D ERT survey

Grzegorz Bania, Tomasz Woźniak


We describe the application of 2D ERT (electrical resistivity tomography) surveys to investigate the spatial complexity of fluvial deposits of the Wisła River valley in the eastern part of Kraków (southern Poland). All ERT survey lines were completed within the industrially influenced floodplain of the Wisła River at two research sites. Due to the transformation of the natural state of the environment through many years of industrial activity of the ArcelorMittal Kraków plant, some of the geomorphological elements analysed have been irretrievably transformed and hidden by anthropogenic accumulations such as waste landfills and engineering structures. Hence, many years of soil contamination have changed the primary resistivity characteristics of the subsurface. For this purpose, the measurement array applied combines standard arrays, i.e., Wenner-Schlumberger and Dipole-Dipole, which gave improved results (higher resolution) in comparison to the standard single array. The data interpretation method was supported by the calculation and visualization of the vertical and horizontal gradients of the interpreted resistivity within the resistivity sections. This approach allowed accurate determination of resistivity boundaries on the ERT resistivity sections and thus helped lithological interpretation of the fluvial deposits in the research area. The resistivity of water in a channel located within one of the analysed areas has impacted some of the research results. Furthermore, 2D ERT forward modeling was implemented to generate synthetic datasets. The synthetic data allowed investigation of the influence of groundwater contamination on the resistivity distribution within superficial layers, and also tested the ability of the 2D ERT model to recognize the detailed spatial distribution of palaeomeander (meander scar) infills. All methods have provided new information on the industrially influenced floodplain of the Wisła River in Kraków.


electrical resistivity tomography (ERT); gradients of interpreted resistivity; 2D ERT modeling; fluvial deposits; Wisła River valley; southern Poland

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