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International Journal of Geophysics
Volume 2012, Article ID 286107, 16 pages
Review Article

Electrokinetics in Earth Sciences: A Tutorial

1Institut de Physique du Globe de Strasbourg, UdS-CNRS UMR 7516, Université de Strasbourg, 5 rue René Descartes, 67084 Strasbourg, France
2Geological Survey of Japan, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8567, Japan

Received 1 June 2011; Accepted 14 October 2011

Academic Editor: Rudolf A. Treumann

Copyright © 2012 L. Jouniaux and T. Ishido. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We describe in this paper the theoretical background for the electrokinetics in rocks and in porous media, to be included in the special issue “Electrokinetics in Earth Sciences” of International Journal of Geophysics. We describe the methodology used for self-potential (SP) and for seismoelectromagnetic measurements, for both field and laboratory experiments and for modelling. We give a large bibliography on the studies performed in hydrology to detect at distance the water flow, to deduce the thickness of the aquifer and to predict the hydraulic conductivity. The observation of SP has also been proposed to detect fractures in boreholes, to follow the hydraulic fracturing, and to predict the earthquakes. Moreover, we detail the studies on geothermal applications.