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JOURNAL OF COASTAL SCIENCES
Journal homepage: www.jcsonline.co.nr
ISSN: 2348 – 6740
Volume 1 Issue No. 1  2014
Pages 4146
Delineation of electrical resistivity structure using Magnetotellurics: a case study from Dholera coastal region, Gujarat, India
T.B. Aghil ^{a}^{*} , Kapil Mohan ^{b} , Y. Srinivas ^{a} , P. Rahul ^{a} , Jose Paul ^{a} , E. Robin Alby ^{a} , Nithya C. Nair ^{a} , N. Chandrasekar ^{a}
^{a} Centre for Geotechnology, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu 627 012, India,
b Institute of Seismological Research, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India
`
A B S T R A C T
Electromagnetic (EM) induction technique is one of the most important geophysical techniques in understanding the subsurface structure. The magnetotelluric (MT) method uses naturally occurring electromagnetic (EM) waves as sources to map the resistivity structure. MT timeseries data are decomposed into spectra, providing “apparent resistivity” as a function of frequency. The depth of penetration is inversely proportional to frequency and the conductivity of the subsurface; thus lower frequencies can be used to map the deeper resistivity structures. During the period, we have carried out MT investigation in Dholera Special Economic Zone (SEZ) situated in south Gujarat, Sourasthra with an objective of delineating the electrical resistivity structure of the region using broadband magnetotelluric investigations and to map the sedimentary thickness of the region and the basement depth. Natural electromagnetic signal in the form of time series are recorded in broadfrequency range (1000 Hz1000sec) along the geological strike of the region. The MT time series is processed by the processing software (Mapros) through which apparent resistivity and phase vs. period curves are obtained. The resultant curves are used as the input for inversion routine implemented in data interpretation software ‘WingLink’. The resultant geoelectric structure of the region from the Bostick inversion infers the sedimentary thickness of about 200300 m (might be a mixture of saline water with sediments) with a resistivity of 0.11.5 ohm.m overlaying by a basement of resistivity 20k ohmm with a thickness of 3235 km.
*Corresponding author, Email address: aghil421@gmail.com Phone: +91 9566928959
© 2014 – Journal of Coastal Sciences. All rights reserved
A R T I C L E
I N F O
Received
28 November 2013 Accepted
4 March 2014
Available online
7 March 2014
Keywords
Magnetotellurics
Earth response
function
Electromagnetics
Seawater intrusion
Dholera
Gujarat
India
1. Introduction
The aim of geophysical exploration methods is to obtain information about the subsurface of the earth. As it is impossible to take direct samples of the object of interest, the fields such as elastic wave, potential, electromagnetic are employed to probe the unknown objects. These physical fields are generated by the variations in the subsurface material properties and measured at the surface. For example, the magnetic field measured at the surface of the earth is due to sources inside and outside of the earth (Svetov 1988). The internal component originates in dynamo action in the outer core and remnant magnetization in the crustal rocks. The external component generated in the atmosphere and magnetosphere. Both internal and external components have a time variation and could potentially generate EM signals that could be used for exploration. The electromagnetic methods, an important branch of applied geophysics provide estimate of electrical resistivity as a function of depth and lateral distance (Nover 2005). A wide range of these methods have been successfully employed in the fields of groundwater, minerals, hydrocarbons, geothermal explorations, environment, oceanography, engineering, shallow and deep crustal studies, estimation of basement, mapping of hazardous dump containing heavy metals and study of deep geology and regional tectonic structures and geodynamical studies of the earth interior.
The conductive rocks affect the electromagnetic response to arterially or natural simulated electric and magnetic fields. The artificially source fields methods are also called controlled source methods that include Controlled Source EM method (CSEM), Direct Current resistivity method and Induced Polarization (IP) methods. In contrast, the naturally simulated methods are Magnetotellurics (MT), Tellurics, Geomagnetic Depth Sounding (GDS) and Self potential (SP) methods. Electromagnetic (EM) induction technique is one of the most important geophysical techniques in understanding the subsurface structure. Application of this technique has grown up steadily over the years for various geological problems in worldwide as well as in India. Indian geology is quite complex with its vast cover of basalt occupied in most parts of western India, thrust regions of north and northeast Himalayan terrains with collision tectonics, mosaic of cratons in peninsular India and large sedimentary basins (Harinarayana 2008). MT method has brought out deep crustal structure in these terrains. A broadband magnetotelluric field investigation has been carried out in the Dholera Special Investment Region, Gujarat to delineate the subsurface electrical resistivity structure of the region and enquire the suitability for establishing the various projects in the economic zone.
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2. Study area
The present study area is located in the Ahmedabad district of Gujarat state (22.248⁰N and 72.195⁰E). Dholera is an ancient port city in Gulf of Khambhat, 30 km from Dhandhuka village of Ahmedabad district. One of the original six temples built by Swaminarayan is located here. Dholera is in proximity with the coastal line. It is covered by water faces on three sides, namely, on the east face by Gulf of Khambhat, on the north side by Bavaliari creek and on southern side by Sonaria creek. Proximity to Ahmedabad has provided Dholera a strong locational advantage with a vibrant manufacturing base and investment scenario. Strategically located, the AhmedabadDholera industrial region lies within 100 km from the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) in Central Gujarat National Highway 8 connects the Dholera Special Investment Region with Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar and Mumbai. Dholera itself has good connectivity with National Highway (NH8) (Anand) and 8A (Bagodra), augmenting BagodraBhavnagar, Bagodra SurendranagarRadhanpur. The location map of the study area is shown in the Figure 1.
Saurashtra region contains only mesozoic and cenozoic rocks, and stratigraphically, the sequence begins with uppermost jurassic cretaceous to be followed upward by the deccan volcanic of upper cretaceous, tertiary and quaternary. Rifting of the western continental margin of India at the close of the cretaceous formed NS to NWSE trending Cambay Graben. The Dholera SIR area lies west of this 500 km long and 50 to 100 km wide Cambay basin which is extending from Rajasthan to Narmada zone in Gujarat and is bounded by two faults namely East Cambay Fault (ECF) and West Cambay Fault (WCF). These faults are expected to be deep along which the deccan traps are down faulted by up to 4km, depositing that thick tertiary and quaternary rocks. Gupta (2004) inferred that the West Cambay Fault (WCF) is 10 km east of Dholera. However, drill holes and detail seismic surveys of ONGC (Biswas 1982) in the area indicate that a subsidiary fault west of the WCF passes through the eastern part of the area. As such this fault is now considered for hazard assessment in Dholera area. Both the West Cambay and the subsidiary faults can have maximum credible earthquake of 6.0. Due to the thick soil part, it is not possible to carry out active fault investigations in the Cambay Graben were formed at the close of the cretaceous era. During tertiary, at least
Fig. 1 Location map of the study area
3. Geology of the region
The rocks of Gujarat belong to formations ranging in age from the oldest precambrian to the recent. Stratigraphically, however the record is incomplete as the rocks of paleozoic era are totally absent. The sedimentary and volcanic rocks rest over the south westerly extended proterozoic rocks of Rajasthan and their post Triassic (Harinarayana 2008). The geological evolution of Gujarat has been controlled by breaking up of Gondwana land sometimes in the triassic and subsequent geological history is related to the northward drift of the Indian sub continent. The depositional history and deccan volcanism are part of this major tectonic phenomenon. The
until miocene, the sediments were marine in nature. The lower pleistocene deposits are fluviomarine/deltaic indicating shallow water marine and continental conditions (Harinarayana 2008). In the middle pleistocene, again a major transgression took place. Later, tectonic activity exposed several sections along river courses (Gupta 1981). The evidences of tectonism, differential uplifts within the graben (Merh 1995), eustatic changes in the sea level and uplifts of the Aravalli’s (Gupta 1968), during quaternary, can be seen in the form of entrenched rivers, cliffy banks and fault controlled river courses. Presently Cambay Graben area has an elevation of +80 to +100 m above mean sea level and the low lying area has shifted to the Nal region (+13 to +16 MSL). Based on isotopic studies,
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Fig. 2 Tectonic features (faults & lineaments) present around Dholera. Yellow color indicates Soil; green color indicates Deccan Trap and red color Mesozoic rocks (GSI Seismotectonic Atlas, 2000) Cambay marginal faults are after Wani and Kundu, (1995).
4. Methodology
Although basically simple, field procedures require a great deal of planning and attention in detail, since they dominate the costs and the sensitivity of the measurement makes it highly vulnerable to disturbances at the measuring sites. MT surveys are designed with the objective of particular project in mind. Survey design begins with the computation of forward models to determine the required acquisition parameters (like recording period, depth of penetration of the signal) and optimum site geometry. In the particular study, a broadband magnetotelluric field investigation has been carried out in the Dholera Special Investment Region, Gujarat to delineate the subsurface electrical resistivity structure of the region and enquire the suitability for establishing the various projects in the economic zone. Standard techniques were used for both MT data collection and data processing. The instrumentation used was the ADU–07, a commercial system produced by Metronics Geophysics, Germany. At this location the magnetic fields were measured by induction coils which are cylinders about 1.5 m long. The electric fields are measured with 80m dipoles using lead–lead chloride electrodes at each end (Fig. 3&4). The latitude and longitude of the recorded sites and survey specifications of MT survey are given in the table 1. For the processing of the data Magnetotelluric Processing Software (MAPROS) was used.
Site specifications 
Site 1 
Site 2 

Latitude & longitude 
N 22 ^{0} 08’27’’ E 72 ^{0} 13’41’’ 
N 22 ^{0} 09’07’’ 

E 72 ^{0} 14’40’’ 

Elevation 
15.9 m 
11.54 m 

Internal Temperature (ADU07) 
45 ^{0} C 
53 ^{0} C 

Dipole length 
80 m 
80 m 

Sensors 
MFS06 
MFS06 

Recording bands: 

16 kHz 
1 minutes 
1 minutes 

8 
kHz 
2 minutes 
2 minutes 

1024Hz 
10 
minutes 
10 
minutes 

512 Hz 
15 
minutes 
15 
minutes 

4 
Hz 
60 
hours 
48 
hours 
Table 1. MT survey specification in the study area
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Fig. 3 Photograph of MT site, the tripod is for finding the direction using compass
Fig. 4 Making connections to ADU07 and power supply.
5. Results and discussion
5.1. Time series processing
The processing of magnetotelluric data involves
electromagnetic theory, time series analysis and linear systems theory for reducing natural electric and magnetic field variations recorded at the earth's surface for studying the electrical properties of the earth's interior (Gamble 1979). To obtain reliable processed results for modeling, it is first necessary to extract or select the natural signals from the contaminated time series. Various noise reduction techniques based on digital filters are discussed with special reference to persistent noise signals, e.g. from power lines, DCoperated railways and electrical fences. MT data processing mostly adopts 1D and 2D modeling and inversion. 1D MT inversion is well mature in theory and there are
numerous methods about 1D inversion. Although 2D and 3D
concepts from
inversions adopt the same principles as 1D, 2D and 3D inversions were developed slowly in the early 1980s. With the rapid development of computer technique, high dimension MT inversion methods are being improved dramatically. For the processing of MT data, the important task is to derive reasonable, goodquality transfer functions from the data that will
enable him to solve the subsequent problem, i.e. to find a
conductivity model of the subsurface (Hermance 1973). Performing
that task is not easy because the magnetotellurics is a passive
method; one has very little control over the signaltonoise ratio in the records. Sometime this can lead to very scattering results and if there have been derived smooth transfer functions, they are
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reasonable in terms of magnetotellurics only. Also it is not easy if there is sources of artificial electromagnetic signals, e.g. electric pasture fences, corrosionprotected pipelines, or railway lines, especially if they are run with direct current. Thus deriving transfer functions between any measured quantities is not straightforward in modern methods, but there are applied additional techniques in order to take into account the difficulties mentioned above. In general, the problem addressed first is tackled using a number of steps to reduce the influence of outliers in the data, e.g. time series preprocessing, robust statistics, weighted stacking over spectra during averaging, and smoothing over the results of adjacent frequencies(Hedlin 1990). The second one is evaded by reference to data of another site situated beyond the sphere of influence of the artificial signal. It is called remote reference technique (RR). A third method often successfully applied to noisy data is selection, i.e. rejecting data segments that do not fulfill certain significant criteria of natural magnetotelluric signals. Analogue input signal is converted into a digital representation, using an analoguetodigital converter (ADC). The recorded signal is represented by the set of discrete values. The choice of sampling rate in the process of digitization is very important and is decided on the basis of highest frequency to be recorded.
5.2. Spectral analysis of time series
Since the interpreting of MT data is usually done in the frequency domain, spectral analysis of the raw data is an important aspect of data processing. This involves creating a time series xi. By sampling a signal x(t), at equal interval of time Δt, from i=1 to N, where T0=(N 1)Δt is the duration of the signal. One of the steps in spectral processing is the spectral analysis which deals with the windowing and Fourier Transformation of electric and magnetic field components. One intuitively feels that for the sampled data to represent the original signal adequately, the signal should be smooth over the sampling interval, Δt. A random choice of sampling rate might give aliasing effect i.e. folding of high frequency contents towards lower frequency side (Smith et al, 1988). To avoid this phenomenon, the sampling rate is chosen on the basis of Nyquist criterion that is,
t
s
=
1
2 f
m
Here ts is the Nyquist sampling rate fm, and fm is the maximum frequency to be recorded. The second step of the MT data processing is spectral analysis which deals with windowing and Fourier transformation of electric and magnetic field components.
5.3. Windowing
In effect, the process of measuring a signal for a finite time is equivalent to multiplying the signal by a rectangular function of unit amplitude: the rectangular function lasting for the duration of the measurement time. The signal is measured during a finite measurement time or 'window'. This idea leads to the rectangular function being called a 'rectangular window'. Multiplication of rectangular window in time domain is equivalent to convolution in frequency domain. The effects of spectral leakage (The spreading means that signal energy which should be concentrated only at one frequency instead leaks into all the other frequencies. This spreading of energy is called 'spectral leakage’ or Gibb’s effect) can be reduced by reducing the discontinuities at the ends of the signal measurement time. This leads to the idea of multiplying the signal
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within the measurement time by some function that smoothly reduces the signal to zero at the end points: hence avoiding discontinuities altogether. The process of multiplying the signal data by a function that smoothly approaches zero at both ends is called windowing and the multiplying function is called window function. There are number of techniques for transforming the time series into spectral information in the frequency domain. Although in principle, all of these methods are equivalent, since they result in the Fourier components of the record, in practice there are important differences that depend on the character of the signal and the underlying assumptions regarding the nature of the data.
5.4. Skew of impedance tensor
The information about the dimensionality is simply obtained from
the skew (K) of the impedance tensor which is rotationally invariant
parameter:
K =
For a 1D structure, Zxx and Zyy are zero and Zxy and Zyx are non zero and thus K=0. In practice, when K<0.1 and the apparent resistivities in the two orthogonal directions are equal, the substructure is treated to be 1D and with a small skew if the
apparent resistivities are different, 2D assumptions are made. If the geology beneath an MT station in a noiseless environment is truly 1
D or 2D, then the skew will be zero. Impedance skew below 0.2 are
indicative of low noise level recordings. Skew values above 0.2 are indication of 3D geology and/or higher level of noise.
5.5. Estimation of earth response function
Determining the nature of the transfer function coupling the telluric and magnetic variation fields is the fundamental problem in the processing of Magnetotelluric data. In general this transfer function has a tensor character one is faced with problem obtaining reliable estimates of tensor elements which far stable from the data set to
data set, and which vary smoothly with frequency. Having described in the last section various methods for
converting time series into spectral amplitude information, we now turn to method for estimating the tensor elements in the impedance tenor from spectral amplitudes from the Magnetotelluric fields’ components. Cantwell (1960) proposed a method for estimating the tensor elements by taking the Fourier Transform of two independent sets of ex, ey, bx and by. Bostick and Smith (1962) proposed an alternative method in which the FT of the former equation were replaced by autopower and crosspower spectra using the Hermance (1973) approach. Smith et al. (1971) describe a procedure for optimizing the estimate of a tensor elements if one is provided
with a large number of independent record sets (i.e., Estimation from
N independent record sets). They define the best estimate of Zxx and
Zxy in a way that minimizes the mean of the squared differences between he measured electric field components and electric field components predicted form the magnetic field component through a
relation
pred
E
xj
= Z
xx
B
xj
+ Z
xy
B
yt
where the subscript j denotes the j th data set. A similar procedure will be followed to estimate other two sets of tensor elements Zyx, Zyy. Pederson (1988) estimated the elements using crosscorrelation
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analysis of single set of record sets, where he used the time domain analogy of determining the tensor elements which couple to two magnetic components to each electric component. Jhonston (1997) applied a variation of this technique to estimate the tensor impedance elements. They gave the expression for the tensor elements through smoothed autopower and crosspower spectra. Bostick and smith (1962) and junge (1996) have suggested simulating the smoothed autopower and crosspower spectral density estimates by averaging a number of Fourier harmonics over a discrete band of frequencies. According them, the expressions for determining the tensor elements are of the form
Z
Z
Z
Z
xx
xy
yx
yy
=
=
=
=
E 
x 
P 
B Q y E Q x 
E P y 

B E 
x x 
P P 
B Q y
B Q x B Q x E Q x 
E P y
E P x 

B E 
y y 
P P 
B Q x
B Q y B Q y E Q y 
E P x
E P y 

B E 
x y 
P P 
B Q y
B Q x B Q x E Q y 
E P y
E P x 

B 
y 
P 
B Q x B Q y 
E P x 
Where * represents complex conjugate; P, Q are any of Bx, By, Ex and Ey and < > denotes ensemble averages for a single record at single site, i.e. frequency band averages of terms as approximations to smoothed power spectral estimates. And Zij are the average estimates of the tensor elements over the smoothing bandwidth. Having calculated the tensor elements for our measuring coordinate system, the last step in the processing procedure is the determination of the principle coordinated system which is done by rotating the tensor elements and determining the angle (strike) that minimizes the diagonal elements After processing of the data, we will get the impedance tensor conventionally expressed as apparent resistivity; phase vs. period curves. In general, measured MT data are distorted by local smallscale, nearsurface conductors leading to perturbation in the E and Bfields. Depending upon the depth and size of the structure and the frequency band used, the anomaly has an inductive and/or galvanic effect which adds to the MT response of the background conductivity of the medium. Further, in most cases the coordinates of the measurement will not align with the strike direction of the subsurface structure. Therefore, before modeling or inversion of MT data, it is essential to understand the degree of the distortion and to estimate the dominant geoelectric strike free from nearsurface distortions. Many workers have developed various types of decomposition techniques that can give the impedance tensor free from galvanic distortions. These techniques can be classified into two groups: 1. Decomposition schemes which assume apriority general conductivity models and extract the parameters of a particular model from the elements of the tensor (Siripunvaraporn 2000), 2: Through mathematical treatment of the impedance tensor as a rank2 matrix (Smirnov 2003).
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5.6. Inversion of the MT data
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The most important and next step in magnetotelluric (MT) data analysis is to convert the frequency domain impedance data into a resistivity model as a function of true depth. This conversion can be accomplished by forward modeling or inversion. Forward modeling uses trial and error fitting of the measured MT data by systematically changing the resistivity model. Inversion is an automated procedure that iteratively updates the resistivity model so that it fits the MT data in a statistical sense. The nonlinear relationship between the MT data and the resistivity model is generally simplified by linearizing the problem relative to starting model.
The inversion of MT time series data after preprocessing,
tensor decomposition and error removal is the last but most
important step in the MT data analysis and modeling as our aim is
always to infer the real earth model from observed data with as much fidelity as possible.
One dimensional (1D) inversion can be used to interpret the MT
data where lateral variations are small enough. Understanding the
1D inverse problem provides the foundation for solving inverse
problems in higher dimensions, e.g. 2D homogeneous, 2D anisotropic, and even 3D. There are many instances, particularly at
very low frequencies, when multidimensional effects may be
approximated by a frequency independent static distortion and only
a 1D interpretation is necessary (Smith _{e}_{t} al,1988). 1D inversion is also
routinely performed to constrain starting models for 2D or 3D modeling or inversion. The 1D inversion scheme used for the present
study is Bostick as well as Occam inversion. These schemes are very
stable and its convergence is excellent. In addition the inversion
process only requires a priori estimate data errors, data of apparent
resistivity and phase values. The model produced by Occam typically consists of many layers (maximum of 45 layers). Occam inversion tries to find the smoothest possible model which produces an error with acceptable level. Another inversion algorithm is Marquardt inversion; it is a standard implementation of a layered – earth inversion. It requires a starting model which has the desired number
of layers. It modifies the resistivities and thickness of the layers until
it minimizes the root mean square (rms) error between the model
response and the observed data. The apparent resistivity and phase vs. period curves obtained from the time series processing are then used for the one dimensional inversion of observed data using Bostick inversion study implemented in commercial MT interpretation software ‘WinGLink’.
5.7. WinGLink
The data were inverted using the ‘WinGLink’ program developed by Geosystem which utilizes the nonlinear conjugate gradient (NLCG) algorithm. This algorithm finds regularized solutions to the 1D and 2D inverse problem for MT data by attempting to minimize an objective function that is the sum of the normalized data misfits and the smoothness of the model. The NLCG method solves minimization problems that are not quadratic, selectively penalizing data residuals and spatial derivatives of resistivity distribution (Swift 1967). The tradeoff between data misfit and model smoothness is controlled by the regularization parameter tau, where a low value maintains a closer fit to the actual data and a high value sacrifices fit for smoothness. The program inverts using a userdefined 2D mesh of resistivity blocks, extending laterally and downwards, incorporating topography as well.
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The one dimensional resistivity model arrived from the Bostick inversion of the observed MT apparent resistivity and phase data vs. Period and the resultant model parameters obtained after inverting the observed MT data is shown in figure 5.
Fig. 5 Onedimensional resistivity model arrived from the Bostick inversion technique; Resultant model parameters obtained after inverting the observed MT data
The resultant curves are used as the input for inversion routine implemented in data interpretation software ‘WingLink’. The resultant geoelectric structure of the region from the Bostick inversion infers the sedimentary thickness of about 160180 m (might be a mixture of saline water with sediments) distributed in various layers with a resistivity of 0.11.5 ohm.m overlaying by a basement of resistivity 20k ohmm with a thickness of 3235 km, probably of deccan traps that are exists in the region. A shallow layer of resistivity 1k ohm.m with a thickness of 12m is also inferred from the study.
6. Conclusion
One dimensional inversion of the MT data shows a highly conductive layer with in a depth range of 200 to 300m from the study. This layer might be aroused due to the saline water intrusion from the coastal region. The layer is overlain by a very high resistive layer, which correlates the Deccan traps in the region. The detailed 2D inversion of the data may give detailed resistivity model which can be interpreted with local geology and tectonics of the region.
Acknowledgements
The authors thank Dr. B.K. Rastogi, Director General, Institute of Seismological Research (ISR) to carry out the research work. Special thanks to Mr. Pavan Kumar (ScientistB, ISR) and Mrs. Sunita Devi (Geophysicist, ISR), Peush Chaudhary, Suresh Kumar (JRF, ISR) and Prithvi, Jayadeep (Driver, ISR) for their valuable support during the field survey.
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