Ground penetrating radar and 2D electric resistivity studies for tracing hydrocarbon leakage site, close to Abha City: a case study

  • Fathy Shaaban
  • Turki M. Habeebullah
  • Essam A. Morsy
  • Safwat Gabr
Original Paper


This work presents the application of the ground-penetrating radar (GPR) method and electric resistivity tomography (ERT) technique in outlining a zone of contamination due to the light non-aqueous phase liquid (LNAPL) plume underground in the area of an impacted fuel station, close to Abha City. The GPR has been performed using SIR3000 unit with the 100 and 400 MHz antennas. The main objective of the GPR survey was to evaluate the lateral extension of contamination. The complex GPR signature of the plume was well characterized. Low reflectivity zone corresponds to hydrocarbon vapor phase in the vadose zone. Enhanced reflections are associated with free and residual products in the fractured saturated zone directly above the water table. An electric resistivity tomography (ERT) survey was performed on four profiles within the site to investigate the vertical and horizontal extent of the contamination plume and to define the bottom of the landfill. The 2D electric profiles show the presence of low-resistivity (4O to 37 Ω m) anomalies that refers to the presence of accumulated hydrocarbons. From the interpretation of the GPR and ERT profile, it was possible to locate the top and bottom of the contamination plume of the waste disposal site. The radar signal penetrated deep enough and enabled the identification of a second reflector at approximately 10-m deep, interpreted as the hard basement surface which causes the strong amplitude reflection in the GPR profile. The results of GPR and ERT showed good agreement.


Ground penetrating radar 2D electric resistivity Contaminant plume and hydrocarbon leakage 


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fathy Shaaban
    • 1
    • 2
  • Turki M. Habeebullah
    • 1
  • Essam A. Morsy
    • 1
    • 3
  • Safwat Gabr
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Institute of Hajj ResearchUmm Al-Qura UniversityMeccaKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  2. 2.National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (NRIAG)HelwanEgypt
  3. 3.Geophysics Department, Faculty of ScienceCairo UniversityGizaEgypt
  4. 4.National Authority of Remote Sensing and Space ScienceCairoEgypt

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