〈span〉〈div〉SUMMARY〈/div〉Spectral induced polarization (SIP), describing the measurement of the frequency domain electrical impedance magnitude and phase of porous materials, has been widely used to characterize subsurface hydrological/biogeochemical properties and processes. SIP data collected at frequencies higher than 100 Hz are expected to describe the polarization of small particles providing insights into the physicochemical properties of clays, nanoparticles and microorganisms. However, the phase measurements at these high frequencies are often contaminated by errors due to the parasitic capacitive coupling of the SIP instrument, especially for lower conductivity samples. We developed a model showing the measured phase is the sum of the true sample phase and an error term 〈span〉ωC〈/span〉〈sub〉in〈/sub〉〈span〉Z〈/span〉〈sub〉x〈/sub〉, where 〈span〉ω〈/span〉 is the angular frequency; 〈span〉C〈/span〉〈sub〉in〈/sub〉 is the instrument input capacitance and 〈span〉Z〈/span〉〈sub〉x〈/sub〉 is a measurable impedance function related to the sample holder properties and the reference resistor. Based on this model, a new phase correction method is proposed that results in highly accurate SIP data up to 20 kHz as well as the determination of 〈span〉C〈/span〉〈sub〉in〈/sub〉. We tested the correction method using electric circuits, NaCl fluids and three unconsolidated samples (sand, sand-clay and sand-pyrite mixtures). The corrected phase for the circuit and NaCl fluid experiments showed excellent agreement with the theoretical phase response across the studied frequency range (errors 〈1 mrad). For unconsolidated samples, removal of errors results in phase spectra more consistent with expected polarization mechanisms, as based on phase peaks recorded for small pyrite and clay particles at high frequencies. These phase peaks could not be identified in the uncorrected data. Our approach can substantially enhance the value of the SIP method for the characterization of fine-grained sediments and rocks.〈/span〉
Oxford University Press
on behalf of
The Deutsche Geophysikalische Gesellschaft (DGG) and the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS).