Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 60, Issue 5, pp 1113–1129 | Cite as

The use of vertical electrical sounding resistivity method for the location of low salinity groundwater for irrigation in Chaj and Rachna Doabs

  • Pervaiz SikandarEmail author
  • Allah Bakhsh
  • Muhammad Arshad
  • Tariq Rana
Original Article


A geoelectrical resistivity survey using vertical electrical sounding (VES) was conducted at Chaj Doab (land between rivers Jhelum and Chenab, Pakistan) and Rachna Doab (land between rivers Chenab and Ravi, Pakistan), with the objective of investigating groundwater conditions. A total of 90 sites were selected with 43 sites in Chaj and 47 sites in Rachna Doabs. The resistivity meter (ABEM Terrameter SAS 4000, Sweden) was used to collect the VES data by employing a Schlumberger electrode configuration, with half current electrode spacings (AB/2) ranging from 2 to 180 m and the potential electrode (MN) from 1 to 40 m. The field data were interpreted using the Interpex IX1D computer software and the resistivity versus depth models for each location was estimated. The outputs of subsurface layers with resistivities and thickness presented in contour maps and 3-D views by using SURFER software were created. A total of 102 groundwater samples from nearby hydrowells at different depths were collected to develop a correlation between the aquifer resistivity of VES and the electrical conductivity (EC) of the groundwater and to confirm the resulted geophysical resistivity models. From the correlation developed, it was observed that the groundwater salinity in the aquifer may be considered low and so safe for irrigation if resistivity >45 Ω m, and marginally fit for irrigation having resistivity between 25 and 45 Ω m. The study area has resistivities from 3.9 to 2,222 Ω m at the top of the unsaturated layer, between 1.21 and 171 Ω m, in the shallow aquifers, and 0.14–152 Ω m in the deep aquifers of the study area. The results indicate that the quality of groundwater is better near the rivers and in the shallow layers compared to the deep layers.


Resistivity survey Irrigation Groundwater Salinity Bore hole 



This research project has been supported as Indigenous Ph.D. 5000 scholarship scheme funding from the Higher Education Commission, Islamabad, Pakistan, for which we express our sincere thanks. Appreciations are also extended to the Agriculture Department, Agricultural Engineering Field Wing, Punjab, and various farmers for their co-operation and assistance. Authors wish to thank CSIRO Land and Water, Australia, for providing their technical support and advanced softwares.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pervaiz Sikandar
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Allah Bakhsh
    • 3
  • Muhammad Arshad
    • 3
  • Tariq Rana
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and TechnologyUniversity of AgricultureFaisalabadPakistan
  2. 2.Land and Water, CSIROCanberraAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Irrigation and Drainage, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and TechnologyUniversity of AgricultureFaisalabadPakistan
  4. 4.Cooperative Research Centre for Irrigation FuturesDarling HeightsAustralia

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