Multifractal characterization of airborne geophysical data at the Oak Ridge facility

Lilantha Tennekoon, Michel C. Boufadel, Jonathan E. Nyquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Scaling analyses on geophysical measurements of electrical conductivity, gamma radiation, and magnetic fields, at the Oak Ridge Reservation were conducted. The electrical conductivity and magnetic data exhibited multifractality in the north-south and east-west directions. The radiation data were observed to be non-scaling; a variogram with a sill was found to be more appropriate. The scaling of the EC and magnetic was generally within a range smaller than the maximum distance selected, as periodicity dominated at the larger distances. The electrical conductivity had anisotropy in the scaling of their variograms. But the magnetic data appear to have an isotropic scaling. The underlying statistics of the fields were near Gaussian for the electrical conductivity, but essentially Gaussian for the magnetic data. In environmental hydrogeology, knowledge of the spatial distribution of the intrinsic permeability, K, is very helpful in understanding the transport and spreading of contaminant plumes. Our previous studies have shown that the subsurface permeability, K, is multifractal. Detailed measurement of K is costly. Hence, large data sets of value collected both on a fine scale and over large distances are rare. In this study, we hypothesize that geophysical data could be used indirectly as a surrogate measurement for K, for obtaining statistical information on scale limited K data, and perhaps, directly at sites where K and electrical conductivity are correlated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-239
Number of pages13
JournalStochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • General Environmental Science


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