What Can Induced Polarization Contribute to Drinking Water Exploration in Deep Aquifers?

21 February 2024
10:00 AM (CST)

Presently, over one-third of the global population, totaling more than 2.3 billion people, face water stress. Since 2000, the impact of global changes has led to severe and prolonged droughts, resulting in approximately 160 million children experiencing water shortages, with episodes lasting 29% longer. Climate change and reduced precipitation exert significant pressure on groundwater recharge, leading to declining water levels in both alluvial and crystalline basement aquifers. This phenomenon results in many regions in the world in an increasing depth of available groundwater.

The impact of climate change on groundwater resources is even evident in northern hemisphere countries along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. In 2022, France experienced a wake-up call, facing unprecedented challenges. Despite water scarcity never being a prominent concern, some villages had to rely on water truck deliveries for drinking water. A nation where water was traditionally viewed as a common resource suddenly confronted the reality of potential shortages. Just five years ago, geoscientists primarily focused on groundwater quality, engaging various disciplines such as hydrology, chemistry, biology, and epidemiology. However, today, the quantity of groundwater, intricately linked to a multifaceted cycle involving surface recharge, has become a central concern for public authorities, users, and citizens alike. It is imperative to address groundwater issues holistically and universally, transcending geographical boundaries. Sooner or later, a substantial portion of the world must enhance its comprehension of groundwater resources to manage them efficiently and guarantee sustainable recharge.

Resources managers and suppliers will need new approaches to exploration, accompanied by technical and scientific breakthroughs.

The webinar will also be the opportunity to show an application of nodal electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) and Induced Polarization (IP) recorders in Italy to assist in identifying potential drilling zones. The survey spans approximately 95 hectares, aiming to maximize exploration depth down to around 425 meters from the ground level. By combining geological knowledge with newly collected ERT and IP measurements, the study unveils mineralogical, textural, geological-structural variations, and tectonic discontinuities in terms of subsurface electrical resistivity.

The results of the ERT and induced polarization survey provided stakeholders with sufficient evidence to identify three potential drilling zones. This research contributes valuable insights for the effective and sustainable management of groundwater resources in the face of changing climatic conditions.

In what geological and geographical contexts can this technique be used? Is it affordable for local players and other managers on an aquifer scale? What should be done to improve the deployment of this 3D geophysical technique, which can be used for integrated water resource management?


Speaker Bio

Catherine Truffert

Catherine serves IRIS Instruments as the CEO since March 2017, managing day to day operations, working in research and innovation with electrical engineers and geophysicists and, tackling new challenges with customers and partners. Her permanent goals are searching excellence, ethics and value creation for shareholders, customers, and employees.

With a large experience in Geosciences, Catherine has proven her capacity to interact at all levels, from top to bottom, with industry and public organizations. She wishes to meet the challenge posed by the gap between industry and academia which can be bridged by listening, understanding, partnership, and cross-fertilization.

Holding a PhD in Geophysics issued by the Ecole Normale Supérieure and Paris VI-Marie Curie University, France, she worked for more than twenty years in the French Geological Survey (BRGM). She developed a strong expertise in research (geology, seismic, gravity, airborne geophysics), business development (strategic and business plan, R&D programs, innovation, intellectual property), and management. She successively led the Geology Department and the Research Division of the BRGM before joining IRIS Instruments as CEO. Catherine is administrator of the French National Research Agency, president of the CRESITT Technology Resource Center, and president of the Nantes Observatory of the Sciences of the Universe. She sits on various scientific committees (Institute Mines-Telecom, CSTB, ISTERRE, University of Grenoble-Alpes). She serves as  director at large on the Society of Exploration Geophysicists’ Board.