This study aims to apply geophysical methods to determine the Specific Yield (Sy) and Groundwater Level (GWL) in an unconfined aquifer of the Pingtung Plain in South Taiwan. Sy is an important hydraulic parameter for assessing groundwater potential. Obtaining specific yield for a large area is impractical due to the limited coverage and the high cost of the pumping test, which limits the potential evaluation of regional groundwater. Therefore, we used time-lapse Electrical Resistivity Imaging (ERI) to determine the Sy and GWL. Seasonal variations were considered when measuring time-lapse resistivity for five different months in 2019. We calculated the Sy and GWL from inverted resistivity data using empirical formulas and the soil–water characteristic curve (SWCC). We first used Archie’s law to calculate the relative saturation change with depth for each ERI profile, and then we used the Van Genuchten (VG) and Brooks–Corey (BC) empirical equations to estimate Sy and GWL. Finally, we compared the obtained GWL to the existing observation well to verify the findings of our study. The results showed that the VG and BC are able to predict Sy and GWL; however, the BC result is less consistent with the observation well result. In the study area, the dry season GWL ranged from 24.5 m to 35.2 m for the VG results and from 25.7 m to 35.5 m for the BC results. The wet season GWL ranged from 26.5 m to 38.9 m for the VG and from 26.4 m to 38.2 m for the BC results. The spatial distribution of the GWL shows a high gradient of GWL in the northeastern region, induced by significant proximal fan recharge. The determined spatial distribution of Sy varies from 0.15 to 0.21 for the VG and 0.14 to 0.20 for the BC results, indicating the study area has significant potential for groundwater resources. Therefore, nondestructive resistivity imaging can be used to aid in the determination of hydraulic parameters.
- electrical resistivity imaging
- soil water characteristic curve
- specific yield
- Van Genuchten