In potash mining, the tailings need to be contained to prevent interaction with groundwater. This containment requires an accurate and detailed understanding of groundwater movement controls throughout the tailings management area (TMA).
The resistivity parameter is able to map aquifers and aquitards, so 3D resistivity imaging can be an effective tool for characterizing the subsurface without extensive drilling. TMA assessment is a costly and time-consuming process. Drilling, the principal technology currently used for this process, yields accurate and relevant information at each hole location, but there can remain significant uncertainty between the holes. In addition, the drillhole itself can compromise the effectiveness of impermeable layers if these layers are completely penetrated and not adequately cemented after drilling.