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Detection of Cover Collapse Doline and Other Epikarst Features by Multiple Geophysical Techniques, Case Study of Tarimba Cave, BrazilReliable characterization of the karst system is essential for risk assessment where many associated hazards (e.g., cover-collapse dolines and groundwater pollution) can affect natural and built environments, threatening public safety. The use of multiple geophysical approaches may offer an improved way to investigate such cover-collapse sinkholes and aid in geohazard risk assessments. In this paper, covered karst, which has two types of shallow caves (vadose and fluvial) located in Tarimba (Goias, Brazil), was investigated using various geophysical methods to evaluate their efficiency in the delineation of the geometry of sediments filled sinkhole. The methods used for the investigation were Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT), Seismic Refraction Survey (SRS), Seismic Refraction Tomography (SRT) and the Very Low-Frequency Electromagnetic (VLF-EM) method. The study developed several (2D) sections of the measured physical properties, including P-wave velocity and electrical resistivity, as well as the induced current (because of local bodies). For the analysis and processing of the data obtained from these methods, the following approaches were adopted: ERT inversion using a least-square scheme, Karous-Hjelt filter for VLF-EM data and time-distance curves and Vp cross-sections for the SRS. The refraction data analysis showed three-layered stratigraphy topsoil, claystone and carbonate bedrock, respectively. The findings obtained from ERT (three-layered stratigraphy and sediment-filled doline), as well as VLF-EM (fractured or filled caves as a positive anomaly), were found to be consistent with the actual field conditions. However, the SRS and SRT methods did not show the collapsed material and reached the limited depth because of shorter profile lengths. The study provides a reasonable basis for the development of an integrated geophysical approach for site characterization of karst systems, particularly the perched tank and collapse doline.
The potential use of geophysical methods to identify cavities, sinkholes and pathways for water infiltrationThe use of geophysical characterization of karst systems can provide an economical and non-invasive alternative for extracting information about cavities, sinkholes, pathways for water infiltration as well as the degree of karstification of underlying carbonate rocks. In the present study, three geophysical techniques, namely, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) and Very Low Frequency Electromagnetic (VLFEM) methods were applied at three different locations in relation to fluvial karst, which is listed as an environmentally sensitive area in Rio Vermelho, Mambaí, Goiás, Brazil. In the data acquisition phase, the GPR, direct-current (DC) resistivity and VLFEM profiles were obtained at the three locations in the area. Data were analyzed using commonly adopted processing workflows. The GPR results showed a well-defined lithology of the site based on the amplitude of the signal and radar typologies. On the other hand, the inverted resistivity cross-sections showed a three-layered stratigraphy, pathways of water infiltration and the weathered structures in carbonate (Bambui group). The interpretation of VLFEM as contours of current density resulted from Fraser and Karous–Hjelt filters, indicated the presence of conductive structures (high apparent current density) that might be linked to the weathered carbonate and other conductive and resistive anomalies associated with the water-filled and dry cavities (cave), respectively. The results encourage the integrated application of geophysical techniques such as the reconnaissance for further detailed characterization of the karst areas.