A directional potential analyzer method and apparatus using a non-intrusive electrical measurement technique to obtain a precise location of a leak in a geomembrane liner. The method and apparatus can be used for detecting leaks in either a single layer or a two layer geomembrane liner. The directional potential analyzer comprises a differential voltage detection probe which is moved through the liquid with the potential difference between the electrodes on the probe being measured and recorded as a function of azimuthal position of the probe. An initial scan of the liquid impoundment is used as a reference trace showing all of the anomalies of an unfaulted liner. Subsequent traces obtained by rotating the analyzer probe at a later date are processed and compared with the reference trace to determine the occurrence of new anomalies representing leaks in the liner. In an alternate embodiment of the invention, two directional analyzers are employed and a triangulation analysis is used to obtain a more precise location of a leak in the liner.
Merle E. Converse; Kathryn B. Glass; Thomas E. Owen