Appraisal of the Spatial Resolution of 2D Electrical Resistivity Tomography for Geotechnical Investigation

Yin Chun Hung*, Ho Shu Chou, Chih-Ping Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In the past decade, the 2D electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) has been extensively used in the investigation and monitoring of geotechnical engineering and environment engineering, but there are many uncertainties hidden behind its vivid color earth-resistivity profiles. In order to use the 2D ERT in the scale of geotechnical engineering effectively, the accuracy and spatial resolution capability of measurements must be enhanced, or at least these uncertainties should be mastered to avoid overreading the measurement results. There were seven common geological models built in this study to discuss the variance in spatial analysis capability of 2D electrical resistivity profiles under different geologic conditions. The findings show that the resolution capability of 2D electrical resistivity profiles was influenced by depth, and in different strata, it may be influenced by the resistivity ratio, layer depth, covering depth, interlayer thickness, tilt angle, medium size, and noise intensity. Generally speaking, the relatively low resistance stratum had better resolution capability; if the relatively high resistance stratum was located under the relatively low resistance stratum, its resolution capability declined. In different strata, the resolution capability may be degraded under the effect of different factors. In addition, any noise in the course of measurement resulted in a random jump of the electrical resistivity profile, which worsened as the noise increased. These circumstances should be paid special attention to avoid misrecognition of electrical resistivity profile images.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4394
Number of pages26
JournalApplied sciences-Basel
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • electrical resistivity tomography
  • spatial resolution
  • non-destructive

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