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Boat-towed radio-magnetotelluric and controlled source audio-magnetotelluric study to resolve fracture zones at Aspo Hard Rock Laboratory site, Sweden

TitleBoat-towed radio-magnetotelluric and controlled source audio-magnetotelluric study to resolve fracture zones at Aspo Hard Rock Laboratory site, Sweden
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsWang S.G, Bastani M., Constable S, Kalscheuer T., Malehmir A.
Date Published2019/08
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0956-540X
Accession NumberWOS:000474771100020
Keywords2d joint inversion; direct-current resistivity; electric resistivity; Electrical properties; Electromagnetic methods; faults and high; Fractures; frequency; Geochemistry & Geophysics; geophysical characterization; hydrothermal system; joint inversion; landslide site; magnetotellurics; Marine electromagnetics; springs thermal area; strain deformation zones; tensor csamt survey

Boat-towed radio-magnetotelluric (RMT) measurements using signals between 14 and 250 kHz have attracted increasing attention in the near-surface applications for shallow water and archipelago areas. A few large-scale underground infrastructure projects, such as the Stockholm bypass in Sweden, are planned to pass underneath such water zones. However, in cases with high water salinity, RMT signals have a penetration depth of a few metres and do not reach the geological structures of interest in the underlying sediments and bedrock. To overcome this problem, controlled source signals at lower frequencies of 1.25 to 12.5 kHz can be utilized to improve the penetration depth and to enhance the resolution for modelling deeper underwater structures. Joint utilization of boat-towed RMT and controlled source audio-magnetotellurics (CSAMT) was tested for the first time at the Aspo Hard Rock Laboratory (HRL) site in south-eastern Sweden to demonstrate acquisition efficiency and improved resolution to model fracture zones along a 600-m long profile. Pronounced galvanic distortion effects observed in 1-D inversion models of the CSAMT data as well as the predominantly 2-D geological structures at this site motivated usage of 2-D inversion. Two standard academic inversion codes, EMILIA and MARE2DEM, were used to invert the RMT and CSAMT data. EMILIA, an object-oriented Gauss-Newton inversion code with modules for 2-D finite difference and 1-D semi-analytical solutions, was used to invert the RMT and CSAMT data separately and jointly under the plane-wave approximation for 2-D models. MARE2DEM, a Gauss-Newton inversion code for controlled source electromagnetic 2.5-D finite element solution, was modified to allow for inversions of RMT and CSAMT data accounting for source effects. Results of EMILIA and MARE2DEM reveal the previously known fracture zones in the models. The 2-D joint inversions of RMT and CSAMT data carried out with EMILIA and MARE2DEM show clear improvement compared with 2-D single inversions, especially in imaging uncertain fracture zones analysed in a previous study. Our results show that boat-towed RMT and CSAMT data acquisition systems can be utilized for detailed 2-D or 3-D surveys to characterize near-surface structures underneath shallow water areas. Potential future applications may include geo-engineering, geohazard investigations and mineral exploration.

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