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Magnetotellurics explained

through applications
Robert Hearst
Manager, Quantec Interpretation Group

Geophysical Exploration Services Since


1986!
Over 2000 Projects completed worldwide!
Global Experience
> 100 employees
> 40 geophysicists and engineers
Winner Best New Way to Find Minerals 2004
Over 175 Titan Surveys Completed
Over 50 Minesite Titan Surveys Completed

The Magnetotelluric Method (MT)

What is magnetotellurics (MT) ?


Magnetotellurics (MT for short) is a remote sensing
technique that can image the earth's electrical
resistivity structure from depths of a few 100
metres to several 100 kilometres

What are we measuring ?


Natural electromagnetic waves that are
generated in the earths atmosphere by a range
of physical mechanisms. As these travel into the
Earth's interior they decay at a rate dependent
upon their wavelengths.
High frequency signals which originate from
lightning activity
Intermediate frequency signals come from
ionospheric resonances
Low frequency signals are generated by
sunspots

What are we measuring ?

What are we measuring ?

From Magnetotelluric Research Overview / 6 April 2001 / unsworth@phys.UAlberta.ca

What are we measuring ?

There is an electric field (E) and a magnetic


field (M or H)
Requires coils that are orthogonal and matched
in frequency to the 3 sources of MT

Spartan MT field equipment

2 Channel
Box

Typical
Station
Set-up

Titan 24 Distributed
System (MT only mode)

Battery

2400m 24 sites
current electrode
potential electrode

By

Bx

LAN Link to central control

100m

By

2 channel box
1 channel box

Magnetometer
site
Line Length - 2400 m
24 E x sensors
12 E y sensors
2 Bx/By sensors

Bx

Spartan MT System

Closeupof6channelSpartanLogger

SpartanasTensorMTSystem

SpartaninOperationasTensorMTUnit

SpartanasMiniTitanMTSystem

SpartanMTSoundingvs.TitanMTSounding
0.01Hz 10kHz

100Hz

1Hz

APPARENTRESISTIVITY

0.01Hz

100ohmm
1ohmm
0.01ohmm
FREQUENCY

FREQUENCY
PHASEDIFFERENCE

NoticeLowerLimitof
FrequencyBandwidth
ofSpartanvs.TitanMT
i.e.,BetterQualityData

1Hz

PHASEDIFFERENCE

NoticeUpperLimitof
FrequencyBandwidth
ofSpartanvs.TitanMT

100Hz

APPARENTRESISTIVITY

10kHz

90degrees

45degrees

0degrees
10kHz

100Hz

1Hz

FREQUENCY

0.01Hz 10kHz

400Hzto0.01Hz

100Hz

1Hz

FREQUENCY

20000Hzto0.1Hz

0.01Hz

Typical deliverables
Titan 24 DCIP & MT
one survey line

Chargeability Model

DC Resistivity Model

2 electrical methods
3 geophysical
parameters
MT Resistivity Model
0

1000m

Titan24 system characteristics

24 bit A/D distributed acquisition


Linear sampled time series data
Highly linear, calibrated, simultaneity
Broadband Remote Reference
(10kHz 0.1Hz)

Raw MT Data - Time Series @48kHz


MT signal
+ 60Hz noise

MT Time Series - Unfiltered

Filtered MT time Series @ 48kHz

MT signals

Processing and Interpretation Flow

Apparent Resistivity
Apparent Resistivity

line2_3450
line2_3450

5
5
4
4
3
3
2
2
1
1

Time series

2-D Model
2-D Model1050

1650
2250
2850
3450
4050
4650
5250
750 | 1050
1350 | 1650
1950 | 2250
2550 | 2850
3150 | 3450
3750 | 4050
4350 | 4650
4950 | 5250
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
750 | 1350 | 1950 | 2550 | 3150 | 3750 | 4350 | 4950 |

-1
-1

0
0

-2

l2tm1
l2tm1
Ohm-M
Ohm-M
1

-2
5

4
5
RhoXY

3
4

RhoXY

3
RhoYX

1
2

0
1

RhoYX

Resistivity

-1
0

-2

1.61
2.51.6

-3

-1Frequency
-2
LOG1000

-3

(Hz)
LOG1000
Frequency (Hz)

4 2.5
6.34
10 6.3
16 10

2000
2000

25 16
40 25
63 40
10063

3000
3000

160100
250160
400250
630400

4000
4000

630
1000
1000
W

E
FEET

W
0

500
0

500

1000
1000

FEET2000
1500
1500

2000

2500

3000

2500

3000

2-D Model

N 70 E
N 70 E

Titan MT Curves - December, 2001


Apparent Resistivity
5

LOG RHO (OHM-M)

Raw Apparent
Resistivity
Sounding

ex9750

RhoXY

-1

Phase

ex9750

180
135

PHASE ANGLE (DEG)

Raw Phase
Sounding

-2

LOG Frequency (Hz)

RhoYX

90
45
0
-45
-90
-135
-180
4

PhsXY

PhsYX

-1

-2

LOG Frequency (Hz)

Titan MT Curves - December, 2001


Apparent Resistivity Freq Section - RhoXY
975 0

Raw Apparent
Resistivity
Pseudosection

LOG Frequency (Hz)

9 85 0

L108_noremote
9 95 0
|

1 00 50

1 015 0
|

1 025 0

10 35 0
|

10 45 0

10 550

10 650

10 750
|

108 50

109 50
|

1 10 50

1 11 50
|

1 12 50

1 135 0
|

1 145 0

11 55 0
|

11 65 0

11 750
|

11 850

11 950
|

120 50

Ohm- M

10
3

18
32
56

1 00
1 80
3 20

5 60
1 00 0
0

1 79 9.
3 20 0.
5 60 0

-1

1 00 00
1 79 99.
3 19 99.

-2
W

E
0

METERS

500

10 00

1500

E-W

Phase Freq Section - PhsXY

L108_noremote
975 0

LOG Frequency (Hz)

9 85 0
|

9 95 0
|

1 00 50
|

1 015 0
|

1 025 0
|

10 35 0
|

10 45 0
|

10 550
|

10 650
|

10 750
|

108 50
|

109 50
|

1 10 50
|

1 11 50
|

1 12 50
|

1 135 0
|

1 145 0
|

11 55 0
|

11 65 0
|

11 750
|

11 850
|

11 950
|

120 50
|
Deg re es

0
3

6
12
18
24

30
36

42
48
0

54
60
66
72

-1

78
84

-2
W

ME TER S
0

500

1000

1500

E-W

Apparent Resistivity Freq Section - RhoYX


975 0

9 85 0

L108_noremote
9 95 0
|

1 00 50

1 015 0
|

1 025 0

10 35 0
|

10 45 0

10 550

10 650

10 750
|

108 50

109 50
|

1 10 50

1 11 50
|

1 12 50

1 135 0
|

1 145 0

11 55 0
|

11 65 0

11 750
|

11 850

11 950
|

120 50

Ohm- M
10

18
32
56
1 00

1 80
3 20

5 60
1 00 0
0

1 79 9.
3 20 0.
5 60 0
1 00 00

-1

1 79 99.
3 19 99.

-2
W

E
0

METERS

500

10 00

1500

E-W

Phase Freq Section - PhsYX

L108_noremote
975 0
|

LOG Frequency (Hz)

Raw Phase
Pseudosection

LOG Frequency (Hz)

9 85 0
|

9 95 0
|

1 00 50
|

1 015 0
|

1 025 0
|

10 35 0
|

10 45 0
|

10 550
|

10 650
|

10 750
|

108 50
|

109 50
|

1 10 50
|

1 11 50
|

1 12 50
|

1 135 0
|

1 145 0
|

11 55 0
|

11 65 0
|

11 750
|

11 850
|

11 950
|

120 50
|
Deg re es

- 18 0
- 17 4

- 16 8
- 16 2

- 15 6
- 15 0
1

- 14 4
- 13 8

- 13 2
- 12 6
- 12 0

-1

- 11 4
- 10 8
- 10 2
- 96

-2
W

E
ME TER S
0

500

1000

1500

E-W

Titan MT Curves - December, 2001


Apparent Resistivity

l108_9750

LOG RHO (OHM-M)

Apparent
Resistivity
Sounding

Dead Band

RhoXY

Phase
Sounding

-1

-2

LOG Frequency (Hz)

Phase

l108_9750

180
135

PHASE ANGLE (DEG)

Results demonstrate
high level of data quality
achieved in spite of
proximity of mine and
winter season

RhoYX

90
45
0
-45

Dead Band

-90
-135
-180
4

PhsXY

PhsYX

-1

-2

LOG Frequency (Hz)

Titan MT Curves - December, 2001


Apparent Resistivity Freq Section - RhoXY
975 0

Final Apparent
Resistivity
Pseudosection

LOG Frequency (Hz)

9 85 0

L108
99 50
|

10 050

10 15 0
|

10 25 0

10 35 0
|

10 45 0

1 05 50
|

1 065 0

1 07 50
|

1 08 50

109 50
|

11 050

11 150
|

11 25 0

11 35 0
|

1 145 0

11 55 0
|

1 16 50

1 175 0
|

1 18 50

1 19 50
|

120 50

121 50
|

Ohm- M

10
3

18
32
56

1 00
1 80
3 20

5 60
1 00 0
0

1 79 9.
3 20 0.
5 60 0

-1

1 00 00
1 79 99.
3 19 99.

-2
W

E
0

METERS

500

100 0

1 500

E-W

Phase Freq Section - PhsXY

L108
975 0

LOG Frequency (Hz)

9 85 0
|

99 50
|

10 050
|

10 15 0
|

10 25 0
|

10 35 0
|

10 45 0
|

1 05 50
|

1 065 0
|

1 07 50
|

1 08 50
|

109 50
|

11 050
|

11 150
|

11 25 0
|

11 35 0
|

1 145 0
|

11 55 0
|

1 16 50
|

1 175 0
|

1 18 50
|

1 19 50
|

120 50
|

121 50
|

Deg re es

0
3

6
12
18
24

30
36

42
48
0

54
60
66
72

-1

78
84

-2
W

ME TERS
0

500

1000

1500

E-W

Apparent Resistivity Freq Section - RhoYX


975 0

LOG Frequency (Hz)

9 85 0

L108
99 50
|

10 050

10 15 0
|

10 25 0

10 35 0
|

10 45 0

1 05 50
|

1 065 0

1 07 50
|

1 08 50

109 50
|

11 050

11 150
|

11 25 0

11 35 0
|

1 145 0

11 55 0
|

1 16 50

1 175 0
|

1 18 50

1 19 50
|

120 50

121 50
|

Ohm- M
10

18
32
56
1 00

1 80
3 20

5 60
1 00 0
0

1 79 9.
3 20 0.
5 60 0
1 00 00

-1

1 79 99.
3 19 99.

-2
W

E
0

METERS

500

100 0

1 500

E-W

Phase Freq Section - PhsYX

L108
975 0
|

LOG Frequency (Hz)

Final Phase
Pseudosection

9 85 0
|

99 50
|

10 050
|

10 15 0
|

10 25 0
|

10 35 0
|

10 45 0
|

1 05 50
|

1 065 0
|

1 07 50
|

1 08 50
|

109 50
|

11 050
|

11 150
|

11 25 0
|

11 35 0
|

1 145 0
|

11 55 0
|

1 16 50
|

1 175 0
|

1 18 50
|

1 19 50
|

120 50
|

121 50
|

Deg re es

- 18 0
- 17 4

- 16 8
- 16 2

- 15 6
- 15 0
1

- 14 4
- 13 8

- 13 2
- 12 6
- 12 0

-1

- 11 4
- 10 8
- 10 2
- 96

-2
W

E
ME TERS
0

500

1000

1500

E-W

Acquisition and Processing Flow


QUANTEC

DATA COLLECTION

Time Series Processing

MT 2-D Smooth Model

MIRA
Post Processing
Toronto Office

In-Field
Processing

UBC 2-D IP Inversion

Advanced EVA
Processing

EVA Smooth
Model Inversion

Wannamaker 2-D MT
UBC or PW 2D IP

GOCAD

MT surveys
are employed for;

Large area target potential evaluation


Targeting of Titan surveys
Basin mapping (depth of cover)
Shallow crustal scale evaluation for
hydrocarbon and geothermal exploration
Deep crustal regional scale structural
mapping
Resistivity logs for Lithological
determinations

110:00:00 W

110:01:53 W

110:03:45 W

Porphyry Exploration
32:03:45
drag_057
drag_008
drag_004
drag_016

drag_002

drag_025
drag_024
drag_026
drag_027 drag_023
drag_019
drag_020
drag_021
drag_022

drag_009

drag_018
drag_017
drag_010

32:01:53

drag_098
drag_099

drag_030
drag_037 drag_031
drag_038

drag_097

drag_032
drag_039
drag_035 drag_033
drag_034

32:00:00

drag_044
drag_028
drag_029
drag_043

METERS

RhoYX AT 10 Hz
0

1000

2000

3000

4000

SET: drag-all

qcl409
Date: 07/27/05
Projection: UTM 12
C Merid: -111:00:00.00
Northing: 0.0
Easting: 500000
Scale: N/A
drag-all
75
105
135
165
195
225
255
285
315
345
375
405
435
465
495

Deep crustal studies


Deep transect over 300km traverse, basin and range
setting, northwest Nevada
Soundings distributed at 3-4km intervals
Data inverse modelled to 25km depth
Basin and range geologic setting

240km

Station location map for the NW-NV Dixie Valley transect

2-D Model
-30000

l1rlm
002003
004005
006
008 010 012 014 016 018 020 022 024 026 028030 032 034 036 038 040 042 044046 049
001
|
|
| 007 | 009 | 011 |013| 015 | 017| 019|021|023 |025 | 027 |029|031|033| 035|037 |039|041| 043|045|048 | 050
|

Ohm-M
-20000

1
1.84
3.41
6.31
11.6
21.5
39.8
73.5
135.
251.
464.
857.
1584.
2928.
5411.
10000

Depth (METERS)

-10000
0
10000

20000
30000

40000
50000

E
METERS
0

20000

40000

60000

80000

100000

S 71 E

2-D Model

l1rlm
034
|

035
|

036 037
|
|

038 039
|
|

040
|

041 042
|
|

043
|

044 045 046


|
|
|

048
|

049
|

050
|

Ohm-M
1
1.84
3.41
6.31
11.6
21.5
39.8
73.5
135.
251.
464.
857.
1584.
2928.
5411.
10000

Depth (METERS)

10000

20000

E
0

5000

10000

METERS
15000

20000

25000

30000

S 71 E

MT 2D INVERSION
Valmy- Siliceous
Units
l
Valmy - Carbonaceous,
pyritic Shales

Tuffaceous Mudstone
Pillow Basalt
Black Massive Limestone
,
Interbedded Chert
,

Chert Beds In Limestone

Bottom of MT Section 2000m depth


Section Courtesy Placer Dome, Peter Kowalczyk presentation, PDAC 2001

Questions