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Interpretation and depth of investigation of gradient measurements in direct current geoelectricsNormal access

Author: R. Schulz
Journal name: Geophysical Prospecting
Issue: Vol 33, No 8, December 1985 pp. 1240 - 1253
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2478.1985.tb01362.x
Organisations: Wiley
Language: English
Info: Article, PDF ( 588.93Kb )

Gradient measurements in a homogeneous electrical primary field can easily be interpreted for simple models. The simplified solution (conducting or resistant body in a homogeneous space in a homogeneous electrical field) is often sufficiently accurate, as comparisons with the exact solution (body of finite resistivity in a homogeneous half-space in a quasihomogeneous electrical field) show. The exact geometry of the body cannot be determined by gradient measurements; the same anomaly of apparent resistivity can be caused by different bodies. In particular, the similarity between a sphere and a cube of the same volume is very high.

There is a distinct influence of the resistivity of the overburden: the higher this resistivity is, the stronger is the effect caused by a buried body.

If a deviation of 10% of the apparent resistivity is assumed as the lower boundary at which a buried body can be detected by gradient measurements, the depth of investigation for a three-dimensional body is approximately equal to its width; in the two-dimensional case the thickness of the overburden can be twice the width. If the overburden has a resistivity which is higher than the resistivity of the substratum, these depths are greater. The greatest possible depth is approximately three times the width of the body.

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