Inversion of data from electrical resistivity imaging surveys in water-covered areas

Exploration Geophysics
By:  and 



Electrical resistivity imaging surveys widely used in many environmental and engineering studies have also been conducted in water-covered areas. Surveys in water-covered areas include conventional surveys using multi-electrode resistivity systems where part of the survey line crosses a river or stream, and surveys conducted entirely within a water-covered environment. Surveys that are located entirely within a water-covered environment utilise electrodes mounted on a streamer, towed behind a boat. The streamer can be dragged along the water bottom, or float on the water surface. In this paper, the smoothness-constrained least-squares inversion method commonly used to interpret electrical resistivity imaging data from land surveys is adapted for underwater surveys. To accommodate the water bottom topography, a distorted finite-element grid is used to calculate the apparent resistivity values for the inversion model. The first few rows of elements are used to model the water layer, while the lower part of the grid is used for the sub-bottom resistivity distribution. For robust inversion, the water column resistivity and geometry must be known accurately as a large proportion of the current flows through the water layer. The section of the Earth below the bottom surface is subdivided into a large number of rectangular cells. The water column resistivity and geometry in the earth model is fixed, and the inversion program attempts to determine the resistivity of the cells that would most accurately reproduce the observed resistivity measurements. Implementation of water column resistivity and geometric constraints is demonstrated using numerical simulations and field data. Examples of electrical resistivity imaging surveys conducted on and across water bodies including rivers and near-shore marine environments are shown.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Inversion of data from electrical resistivity imaging surveys in water-covered areas
Series title Exploration Geophysics
DOI 10.1071/EG04266
Volume 35
Issue 4
Year Published 2004
Language English
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Contributing office(s) Office of Ground Water
Description 6 p.
First page 266
Last page 271
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