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TUTORIAL: Basic Concepts of Resistivity and Induced Polarization Profiling

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Authors: D. Oldenburg, F. Jones. HTML: F. Jones  © UBC-GIF, 1998.


Galvanic methods are used most commonly for mineral exploration, but there is a growing number of applications for engineering and environmental problems. 2D resistivity and induced polarization (IP) profiling are usually performed together for mineral exploration, but resistivity is more commonly applied alone for smaller scale work.

Here are images showing some aspects of resistivity / ip field surveying.

In this tutorial we aim to introduce the basic physical concepts of static and dynamic current flow and charge distribution within the ground. The material is relevant both for understanding conventional interpretation methods (pseudosection plots), and as a pre-requisite for understanding how rigorous inversion methods work. Since our tutorial on inversion methodology uses resistivity and IP profiling data for examples, it is important to understand the basics of these methods.

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Table of Contents and Synopsis

. Field work ... See slides showing some aspects of resistivity / ip field surveying.
1.  Introduction In which we present the goals of this tutorial, measurement basics and comments on surveying.
2. Basics A refresher on basic definitions, and relations between voltage current, electrode array geometry, etc.
3. Pseudosections Conventional plots of apparent resistivity measured at a set of electrode separations are called pseudosections because depth scale is not well determined.
4.  Current flow and charges Charge distribution resulting from current flow is illustrated using a cartoon of the Elura deposit.
5.  Boundary conditions Boundary conditions on charges cause current flow lines to bend at interfaces between regions between regions of different conductivity.
6. Effects of array type How does your choice of survey array affect results? This topic is covered using slides from the UBC-GIF workshop on inversion methodology. Images are 25,000 - 105,000 bytes. 
6.  Induced polarization (IP) The macroscopic (measurable) phenomenon, and two microsopic causes.
7.  References Cited, and bibliographic, references.

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