ESR N° 12: Spectral induced polarization monitoring for in-situ quantification of biochemical reactions

Research Fellow: Satoshi Izumoto

hosted at the Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany

Johan Alexander Huisman – Forschungszentrum Jülich

CNRS – 10 months (2018, 2019)

Research objectives

(1) To establish quantitative relationships between spectral induced polarization (SIP) signal and biochemical reactions in laboratory experiments and
(2) to validate the relationships in field measurements

Project description

Spectral induced polarization (SIP) determines the frequency-dependent complex electrical conductivity in the mHz to kHz frequency range. Recent studies have suggested the possibility of using SIP to monitor microbial activity, biofilm presence and activity, and the associated biogeochemical reactions in non-destructive way. However, it is still difficult to distinguish the multiple origins of the SIP signal, such as porous media characteristics, aqueous phase saturation, microbial activity, and chemical reactions involving precipitation, redox reaction, etc.

In this project, the effect of directly observed biofilms and biochemical reactions on SIP signals will be investigated in laboratory experiments with imaging equipment and a 2D transparent micromodel. The above photo shows a prototype micromodel adapted to SIP. Based on these laboratory insights, we will investigate biofilm distribution and development as well as biochemical reactions at the Ploemeur site in France.

Tasks and methodology

1.1 A milli fluidic model including porous media will be developed so that SIP signals can be clearly detected.

1.2 The effect of biochemical reaction on SIP signal will be investigated with a milli fluidic model.

2. In-situ biochemical reactions will be quantified with electrical impedance tomography measurement.


Access to data on Spectral induced polarization of calcite precipation: 2D experimental pore scale observation

Dissemination and communication


Publication in Geophysical Journal International, Volume 220, Issue 2, pages 1187-1196
Effect of solute concentration on the spectral induced polarization response of calcite precipitation


June 4th : Oral Presentation at the 24th H+ Network Meeting: “Spectral induced polarization of biochemical reactions in laboratory experiments”


Presentation to AGU Fall meeting (Washington DC, USA): “Spectral induced polarization of calcite precipitation in a porous media

Presentation at the 5th International Workshop on Induced Polarization (Newark, USA): “Spectral induced polarization response of calcite precipitation

Poster presented at the 4th Cargèse Summer School: “Effects of solution composition on the spectral induced polarization signals of calcite precipitation


Spectral induced polarization: The electric polarization which determines the frequency-dependent complex electrical conductivity in the mHz to kHz frequency range