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Structural mapping in basin-and-range-like geology by electromagnetic methods: a powerful aid to seismicNormal access

Authors: Pierre-Yves Galibert, Roger Guerin and Pierre Andrieux
Journal name: Geophysical Prospecting
Issue: Vol 44, No 6, November 1996 pp. 1019 - 1040
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2478.1996.tb00189.x
Organisations: Wiley
Language: English
Info: Article, PDF ( 2.78Mb )

A case history is presented where electromagnetic (EM) methods were applied as a complement to seismic, for structural mapping in basin-and-range-like geology: 366 five-component magnetotelluric (MT) soundings were carried out together with 331 transient soundings (TDEM) along seismic lines.

Due to high structural complexity, seismic shows a number of limitations. For the same reasons, MT is highly perturbed and three specific interpretation techniques were comprehensively applied:

1. a classical correction of static effect using TDEM sounding, to determine the high-frequency nondistorted apparent resistivities and thus the corrected tensor;

2. a so-called regional correction based upon the same concept as the static effect, to transform distorted resistivity curves due to the horst/graben situation into plausible 1D curves, through the use of nomograms built for 2D H-polarization situations;

3. a stripping technique which made it possible to map areas where a deep conductive Mesozoic shale was present below carbonates, at a depth of 3 km.

After the best MT interpretation was obtained along each line, it was integrated with seismic and with the results from two boreholes. A crude empirical law relating resistivity and acoustic velocity was established and the MT horizons were plotted on the two-way traveltime seismic sections.

The final integrated cross-sections obtained are undoubtedly of greater use to the explorationist than the initial seismic sections alone and two wells were accurately predicted.

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