We are investigating and seeking to prove a new technology concept for the non-invasive volumetric imaging and routine temporal monitoring of the thermal state of permafrost, a key indicator of global climate change. Capacitive Resistivity Imaging (CRI), a technique based upon a low-frequency, capacitively-coupled measurement approach is applied in order to emulate Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) methodology, but without the need for galvanic contact on frozen soils or rocks. We have developed prototye instrumentation and are applying this to laboratory experiments simulating permafrost growth, persistence and thaw in bedrock. The capacitive measurement principle should help reduce the uncertainty in ERT monitoring data due to variations in contact resistance, thus adding value to the geophysical monitoring of permafrost-affected rocks.


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