Geophysical Investigation of Oil Brine Contamination: Providing Hands-On Geophysical Experience for Students


From 1917-1973 oil production took place in Wildhorse Field, directly south of Skiatook Lake in Osage County, Oklahoma. During operation two open pits were used for water and oil waste. After operation ceased the two pits were left unregulated on site. The pits are the source of salt contamination in the bedrock, aquifer, and lake. On the surface a salt scar is visible. As part of a geophysical field methods course at Oklahoma State University students acquired electrical, and geochemical data to characterize the salt plume and site geology. Electrical methods used include electrical resistivity, induced-polarization, and spontaneous-potential. The preliminary results show three geoelectric units consisting of a very conductive layer ( & lt; 3 Ohm-meters) sandwiched between resistive units. Both the geochemical and electrical data suggest that the extent of the salt plume is much wider than previously defined.

Meeting Name

22nd Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems (2009: Mar. 29-Apr. 2, Fort Worth, TX)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Conductive Layer; Electrical Data; Electrical Methods; Electrical Resistivity; Field Methods; Geochemical Data; Geoelectric; Oil Production; Oil Wastes; Oklahoma; Oklahoma State University; Open Pit; Resistive Units; Salt Contamination; Aquifers; Electric Conductivity; Geochemistry; Lakes; Geophysics

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2009 Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society (EEGS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Mar 2009