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[en] A full-scale field experiment applying 4D (3D time-lapse) cross-borehole Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) to the monitoring of simulated subsurface leakage was undertaken at a legacy nuclear waste silo at the Sellafield Site, UK. The experiment constituted the first application of geoelectrical monitoring in support of decommissioning work at a UK nuclear licensed site. Images of resistivity changes occurring since a baseline date prior to the simulated leaks revealed likely preferential pathways of silo liquor simulant flow in the vadose zone and upper groundwater system. Geophysical evidence was found to be compatible with historic contamination detected in permeable facies in sediment cores retrieved from the ERT boreholes. Results indicate that laterally discontinuous till units forming localized hydraulic barriers substantially affect flow patterns and contaminant transport in the shallow subsurface at Sellafield. We conclude that only geophysical imaging of the kind presented here has the potential to provide the detailed spatial and temporal information at the (sub-)meter scale needed to reduce the uncertainty in models of subsurface processes at nuclear sites. - Graphical abstract: 3D fractional resistivity change (resistivity change Δρ divided by baseline resistivity ρ_0) image showing results of Stage 1 silo liquor simulant injection. The black line delineates the preferential flow path; green cylinders show regions of historic contamination found in sediment cores from ERT boreholes. - Highlights: • 4D geoelectrical monitoring at Sellafield detected and tracked simulated silo leaks. • ERT revealed likely pathways of silo liquor simulant flow in the subsurface. • The method can reduce uncertainty in subsurface process models at nuclear sites. • Has been applied in this form at a UK nuclear licensed site for the first time • Study demonstrates value of 4D geophysics for nuclear decommissioning.