3D and boundary effects on 2D electrical resistivity tomography

Yin Chun Hung*, Chih Ping Lin, Chin Tan Lee, Ko Wei Weng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) is one of the most widely used geophysical methods in geological, hydrogeological, and geo-environmental investigations. Although 3D ERT is now available, 2D ERT remains state-of-the-practice due to its simplicity in fieldwork and lower space requirements. 2D ERT assumes that the ground condition is perpendicular to the survey line and outside the survey line is homogeneous. This assumption can often be violated in conditions such as geologic strikes not perpendicular to the survey line and topographic changes or buried objects near the survey line. Possible errors or artifacts in the 2D resistivity tomogram arising from violating the 2D assumption are often overlooked. This study aimed to numerically investigate the boundary effects on 2D ERT under various simplified conditions. Potential factors including resistivity contrast, depth and size of buried objects, and electrode spacing were considered for the parametric studies. The results revealed that offline geologic features may project onto the 2D tomogram to some extent, depending on the aforementioned factors. The mechanism and implications of boundary effects can be drawn from these parametric studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2963
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number15
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • 3D effect
  • Boundary effect
  • Electrical resistivity tomography

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