An automated search apparatus is disclosed for detecting leaks in liquid impoundments usually defined by a geomembrane layer. A voltage gradient is created within the impoundment by means of a source electrode. The search apparatus contains pairs of electrodes coupled to differential amplifiers which allow plotting of the voltage gradient within the impoundment. The search vessel is controlled via radio telemetry, and its position may be tracked using optical theodolites. A distortion in the equipotential lines associated with the voltage gradient indicates the presence of a leak.
Merle E. Converse; David W. Shultz