Project "Geolocapol"

Title: Detecting and locating non-aqueaous phase contaminants in soils by three geophysical methods (GEOLOCAPOL).

Contract No ENV4-CT95-0079

Type: Shared-cost RTD project,

Institut Français du Pétrole, Geophysics and Instruments Department.


  • Universität Köln, Institut für Geophysik und Meteorologie, Köln Germany
  • Deutsche Montan Technologie GmbH, Institut für Lägerstätte, Vermessung und Angewandte, Geophysik, Bochum Germany
  • Imaging Arts Co, Thessaloniki Greece

Project Objectives:
To develop a methodology for locating and determining the volume of Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid pollutants (NAPL), in the non saturated zone of soils down to the water-table, in the depth-range 0-20 m. The methodology was especially applied to liquid hydrocarbons such as gasoline, diesel and heavy fuel,  HAP-containing tars and  chlorinated hydrocarbons such as solvents and PCB's. The aim was to investigate industrially and accidentally contaminated sites with the interest of avoiding many boreholes. It combines three existing geophysical tools: Ground Penetrating Radar, Radiomagnetotellurics and Electrical Direct Current or Electromagnetic Tomography. The methodology takes advantage of their complementarity and by using improved processing methods their respective resolution is enhanced. The operational methodology is accompanied by a dedicated graphic software for interactive 3D data visualisation.

Imaging Arts team: Vasilios Chouvardas, Ioanna Chouvarda, Maria Psaltikidou

Personal involvement: coordination and development of the visualization software and the processing modules.

The software allows the end-user (either a geologist or geophysisist) to:

  • Fully control the visualization of the measurements.
  • Select a measurement or a combination of measurements to visualize simultaneously.
  • Focus on areas of interest and make statistical analysis or comparisons among such areas.
  • Apply image-processing algorithms for image enhancement.

Other Features:

  • Interactive and User-Friendly environment.
  • Real-Time calculations despite the huge data volume.
  • Database support for uniform data management.
  • Processing by 2-D and 3-D graphics support.

Technical Characteristics:

Real Time 2D and 3D Graphics, Visual C++, OpenGL, Object Oriented Programming, Database Support

Software Screenshots


Map (.dwg format) and RMT measurements.

Left: Generation (with interpolation) of a 2D cross-section at a position interactively defined by the user. Right: Views of the cross-sections.