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Aditya kumar anand M.Sc (final ) Geology 4th semester Department of geology University of Delhi

D.C. resistivity (electrical resistivity) techniques measure earth resistivity by driving a direct current (D.C.) signal into the ground and measuring the resulting potentials (voltages) created in the earth. In geophysical and geotechnical literature, the terms "electrical resistivity" and "D.C. resistivity" are used synonymously . The terms "resistivity" or "electrical" are often used to refer to the same methods or techniques, although "electrical" is sometimes used to encompass a broader range of techniques including the electromagnetic methods.

Resistance, Voltage, Current

Resistivity surveying investigates variations of electrical resistance by causing an electrical current to flow through the subsurface using wires (electrodes) connected to the ground. Resistivity = 1 / Conductivity To get current to flow you must provide a push The push is called a potential difference or voltage(V) The flow is called the current Symbol: I (I = amperes / amps)


The amount of potential difference required to push a given current is directly proportional to the Resistance OHMS LAW: V = IR , R = V/I Resistance, R Resistivity, (rho) They are related but are fundamentally different things Resistance depends on: The material properties i.e. the resistivity, (so is a material property) The shape of the material that has current flowing through it.

R= Resistance a = cross sectional area l = length ThereforeResistance is higher when current is forced through a Small area Long length

Apparent Resistivity
In a VES survey the ratio V/I is measured with increasing electrode spacing. The ratio changes for two reasons Layers of differing resistivity are encountered. The electrodes are now farther apart Current diverges at one electrode and converges at the other. R is directly proportional to length and inversely proportional to cross sectional area. At depth 2d:The length of the path is doubled. The cross sectional length is doubled in both dimensions, so area is 4x. The measured resistance (V/I) will be as much.

Apparent Resistivity
To account for the effects of changes in electrode spacing the apparent resistivity is found as

Here is a geometrical factor equal to a/l for a rod The geometrical factor varies depending on array configuration / type.



The capacitively-coupled resistivity(CCR) experiments were conducted using the multi-channel OhmMapper. In the CCR method there is no need to plant electrodes into the ground. With CCR very rapid near surface surveys are possible compared to conventional D.C. resistivity survey . In Disaster mitigation or for environmental survey it is important to understand the geologic structure of the near surface to a depth to around 10 m. In such surveys rapid and cost-effective survey methods are needed.

In a CCR survey because it is not necessary to use ground stakes to measure the resistivity of the ground and for this reason very rapid measurement is possible compared to the D.C. galvanic-resistivity technique. The CCR survey has the advantages that data acquisition is possible in highly resistive areas. Values of apparent resistivity greater than 10,000 ohm-m such as in permafrost may experience severe contact resistance problem with using a conventional galvanic resistivity meter.

The concept of the capacitively-coupled resistivity measurement is shown in the Figure. When voltage is applied to the conductor inside the CCR transmitter an electric charge appears between the conductor and the ground which are separated from one another by the insulation. The conductor and the ground act as two plates of a capacitor separated by a strong dielectric resistor(the insulation). This capacitance between the conductor and the ground acts as a path for an A.C. current to flow into the ground from the conductor. According to the same principle it is possible with a CCR receiver to detect the A.C. voltages in the ground generated by the transmitter. In this manner the resistivity of the ground can be acquired.


Figure 2 shows the appearance of the five-receiver OhmMapper TR5 and Figure 3 shows the schematic diagram of the OhmMapper. The receivers are connected to each other by shared "dipole cables" and the transmitter is connected to the receiver array by a nonconductive rope. The transmitter/receiver array is towed by a person or a vehicle.

Two dipole cables are connected to the transmitter and also two dipole cables are connected to each of receivers in the multireceiver array. The electrode configuration is equal to a dipole-dipole array. The depth of investigation can be controlled by changing the length of the dipole cables and the spacing between the transmitter and the receivers. The transmitter- receiver separation should not exceed one skin depth. Skin depth is defined as the following: = 503 SQRT (/f) where = skin depth, = resistivity of the ground , f =transmisssion frequency eg: f=8 kHz, =20ohm-m, =25m


Applications for Capacitively-Coupled Resistivity OHM MAPPER . Monitoring dykes and levees for damage and leaks. Shallow minerals exploration. Shallow ground-water exploration. Monitor environmental sites for leakage plumes.

The OhmMapper and a traditional resisitivity survey were conducted on the same survey line for comparison. The site is located in Tsukuba city in Ibaraki Pref., Japan. The comparison line was 250 m long on cohesive soil. The surface of the survey line was the grass. The OhmMapper measurement used 5 m dipole cables and the separation between the transmitter dipole and the receiver dipoles was from 5 m at minimum to 35 m at maximum. The electrode array of the D.C. resistivity survey was pole-pole array. The minimum electrode spacing was 1 m and the maximum was 15 m. the results of the OhmMapper and the D.C. resistivity from the comparison line. There is a resistive layer of more than about 140 ohm-m, and below this layer, is a less resistive layer of less than 60 ohm-m Although there are differences at the surface, the OhmMapper result roughly agrees with the D.C resistivity result. The differences in the very near surface may be caused by the difference in the type of electrode array.

The corim system measures the electrical resistivity of the ground at a few metres depth using capacitively coupled carpets pulled on the surface behind a towing veichle . The logging speed of few kilometres permit to carry out as many as readings per day and makes the corim system an efficient tool for shallow structure investigation . Computer controls the whole system . Images obtained for each profile are apparent resistivity pseudo section
These apparent resistivity condition point out the conductive and resistive areas related to the presence of fractures , voids to lateral variation in lithology and clay content The main applications are

Dike diagnosis Soil detection Cavity detection Archaeology

The CORIM system using alternating current which penetrates in to the ground by capacitively coupling and the potential difference are measured in the same way . Electrodes are simply laid on the ground so the whole system can be easily pulled along . This enables a much higher acquistion speed than in standard dc prospecting The potential depends upon the resistivity of the ground . Farther the receiving carpet from the transmitting carpet deeper will be the investigation.

RESISTIVITY SURVEYING Aim: Imaging the underground geological structures through surface electrical measurements Principle: Transmitting a current I through two electrodes and measuring a voltage V with two other electrodes Apparent resistivity: = K*V/I, K depending on the chosen electrode array and the electrode separation Electrical sounding: Determining the depths and thickness of layers through the variations of the electrical resistivity with depth . Electrical profiling: Delineating anomalous areas through the lateral variations of the resistivity Applications: environmental studies, groundwater investigation, civil engineering, archaeology...


CLASSICAL RESISTIVITY 2 (A, B) electrodes : current transmission 2 (M, N ) electrodes : potential measurement MULTI-ELECTRODE RESISTIVITY "n" electrodes (n = 48, 72, 96, ) successively "current" or "potential" aim : to save time in the acquisition

Principle of multi-electrode resistivity imaging

The evolution of electronic components and of computer processing have permitted to develop field resistivity equipment (SYSCAL Switch and SYSCAL Pro Switch units) which includes a large number of electrodes located along a line at the same time. This technique, called Resistivity Imaging or Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT), finds applications in the environment, groundwater, civil engineering and archaeology fields. The multi-electrode resistivity technique consists in using a multi-core cable with as many conductors (24, 48, 72, 96, ) as electrodes plugged into the ground at a fixed spacing every 5m for instance (Figure 1) The various combinations of transmitting (A,B) and receiving (M,N) pairs of electrodes construct the mixed sounding / profiling section, with a maximum investigation depth which mainly depends on the total length of the cable.


a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j. k. l. Syscal junior Syscal junior switch 48 Syscal junior switch 72 Syscal kid Syscal kid switch 24 Syscal pro Syscal pro switch Syscal pro deep marine Syscal R1 plus Syscal R1 plus switch 48 Syscal R1 plus switch 72 Syscal R2

The SYSCAL resistivity meter is placed in the central part of the sounding. The metallic electrodes have to be plugged into the ground as deeply as possible to decrease the ground resistance for both the transmitting electrodes A, B, and the receiving electrodes M, N. A resistance of a few k ohms is convenient (10 to 20 k ohm max). When possible, water can be poured on the electrodes or two electrodes can be set in parallel at each point to decrease this value. The wires going from the SYSCAL to the A, B electrodes (up to several hundreds volts) have to be placed as far as possible from the wires going to the M, N electrodes (down to a few mV) to prevent insulation troubles.

Syscal kid is a very compact unit specially designed shallow electrical survey.
Easy to use , field proof and light weight . Syscal kid is ideal for archaeological , geological and civil engineering applications

Resistivity meter for environmental applications . Computation of resistivity for most electrode arrays: Schlumberger, Wenner , Gradient, Dipole-Dipole, Pole-Dipole, Pole-Pole. Compact, easy to use Measurement of electrical resistivity 2 simultaneous reception channels Outputs: 400 V 100W 1.25A



The SYSCAL JUNIOR Switch-48 is an all-in-one multi node resistivity imaging system. It features an internal switching board for 48 electrodes and an internal 200W power source. The system is designed to automatically perform pre-defined sets of resistivity measurements with roll-along capability. Four multi-core cables with 12 electrodes takeout each are connected on the back of the resistivity meter. These heavyduty cables are available with standard 5 or 10 m electrode spacings. It is ideal for environmental and civil engineering applications such as pollution monitoring and mapping, salinity control, depth-to-rock determination and weathered bedrock mapping. It can also be used for shallow groundwater exploration (depth and thickness of aquifers)



SYSCAL Pro Switch

MAIN FEATURES The SYSCAL Pro Switch is a versatile electrical resistivity meter which combines a transmitter, a receiver and a switching unit in one single casing. It is supplied by a 12V battery. The measurements are carried out automatically (output voltage, stacking number, quality factor) after selection of limit values by the operator, and are stored in the internal memory. The SYSCAL Pro Switch uses multi-core cables for controlling a set of electrodes connected in a line or in several lines. The ten channels of the system permit to carry out up to 10 readings at the same time for a high efficiency.


SYSCAL Pro "deep marine": This version has been specifically designed for marine survey in high conductive medium (like salt water) thanks to the high output current capability. Marine survey with GPS: A GPS/Sounder can be directly connected to the unit by a serial link for a continuous recording of the location of the 10 channels and of the water bottom all along the profile. In that mode, using the 10 reception channels a set of 10 resistivities is measured and stored approximately every 2 seconds. Graphite electrodes: Specific cables with graphite electrodes can be supplied to fit to that environment; this allows to get low resistance values and to avoid corrosion due to water contact.


Resistivity meter for medium depth exploration. Compact, easy to use . Measurement of electrical resistivity . 2 simultaneous reception channels. Outputs : 600 V - 200 W - 2.5 A .

MAIN FEATURES Power source, transmitter and receiver in a single unit Display of noise level before measurement Measurement and display of ground resistance, current, voltage, self potential and standard deviation . Computation of the apparent resistivity for the various electrode arrays: Schlumberger & Wenner (sounding or profiling), DipoleDipole, Gradient.

Syscal R2 plus
The SYSCAL R2 unit is a high-power system designed for DC electrical surveys applied to groundwater exploration, environmental studies, civil engineering, structural geology investigation and mineral exploration. Easy to use: The SYSCAL R2 computes and displays the apparent resistivity automatically for the most common electrode arrays (Schlumberger and Wenner sounding and profiling gradient dipole-dipole )