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Potential of Electrical Resistivity Tomography to Detect Fault Zones in Limestone and Argillaceous Formations in the Experimental Platform of Tournemire, France

Abstract : The Experimental platform of Tournemire (Aveyron, France) developed by IRSN (French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety) is located in a tunnel excavated in a clay-rock formation interbedded between two limestone formations. A well-identified regional fault crosscuts this subhorizontal sedimentary succession, and a subvertical secondary fault zone is intercepted in the clay-rock by drifts and boreholes in the tunnel at a depth of about 250 m. A 2D electrical resistivity survey was carried out along a 2.5 km baseline, and a takeout of 40 m was used to assess the potential of this method to detect faults from the ground surface. In the 300 m-thick zone investigated by the survey, electrical resistivity images reveal several subvertical low-resistivity discontinuities. One of these discontinuities corresponds to the position of the Cernon fault, a major regional fault. One of the subvertical conductive discontinuities crossing the upper limestone formation is consistent with the prolongation towards the ground surface of the secondary fault zone identified in the clay-rock formation from the tunnel. Moreover, this secondary fault zone corresponds to the upward prolongation of a subvertical fault identified in the lower limestone using a 3D high-resolution seismic reflection survey. This type of large-scale electrical resistivity survey is therefore a useful tool for identifying faults in superficial layers from the ground surface and is complementary to 3D seismic reflection surveys.
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Contributor : Pascale Talour <>
Submitted on : Thursday, February 10, 2011 - 9:57:12 PM
Last modification on : Friday, September 25, 2020 - 3:14:01 AM

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C. Gélis, A. Revil, M. E. Cushing, D. Jougnot, F. Lemeille, et al.. Potential of Electrical Resistivity Tomography to Detect Fault Zones in Limestone and Argillaceous Formations in the Experimental Platform of Tournemire, France. Pure and Applied Geophysics, Springer Verlag, 2010, 167, pp.1405-1418. ⟨10.1007/S00024-010-0097-X⟩. ⟨insu-00565073⟩

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