Reconstruction of landslide movements by inversion of 4D electrical resistivity tomography monitoring data

Reliable tomographic inversion of geoelectrical monitoring data from unstable slopes relies critically on knowing the electrode positions, which may move over time. We develop and present an innovative inverse method to recover movements in both surface directions from geoelectrical measurements made on a grid of monitoring electrodes. For the first time, we demonstrate this method using field data from an active landslide to recover sequences of movement over timescales of days to years. Comparison with GPS measurements demonstrated an accuracy of within 10% of the electrode spacing, sufficient to correct the majority of artifacts that would occur in subsequent image reconstructions if incorrect positions are used. Over short timescales where the corresponding subsurface resistivity changes were smaller, the constraints could be relaxed and an order-of-magnitude better accuracy was achievable. This enabled the onset and acceleration of landslide activity to be detected with a temporal resolution of a few days.