Publication Type:

Journal Article


Geophysics, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Tulsa, OK, United States, Volume 82, Number 4, p.E187-E195 (2017)




applications, Canada, dipole moment, eastern canada, Electromagnetic induction, electromagnetic methods, environmental analysis, geophysical methods, interpretation, inverse problem, magnetic field, Mineral exploration, Mining, Ontario, shallow depth, Sudbury District Ontario, Sudbury Igneous Complex, three-dimensional models


In inductive electromagnetics, the magnetic field measured in the air at any instant can be considered to be a potential field. As such, we can invert measured magnetic fields (at a fixed time or frequency) for the causative subsurface current system. These currents can be approximated with a 3D subsurface grid of 3D magnetic (closed-loop current) or electric (line current) dipoles whose location and orientation can be solved for using a potential-field-style smooth-model inversion. Because the problem is linear, both inversions can be solved quickly even for large subsurface volumes; and both can be run on a single data set for complementary information. Synthetic studies suggest that for discrete induction dominated targets, the magnetic and electric dipole inversions can be used to determine the center and top edge of the target, respectively. Furthermore, the orientation of plate targets can be estimated from visual examination of the orientations of the 3D vector dipoles and/or using the interpreted location of the center and top edge of the target. In the first field example, ground data from a deep massive sulfide body (mineral exploration target) was inverted and the results were consistent with the conclusions drawn from the synthetic examples and with the existing interpretation of the body (shallow dipping conductor at a depth of approximately 400 m). A second example over a near-surface mine tailing (a near-surface environmental/engineering study) highlighted the strength of being able to invert data using either magnetic or electric dipoles. Although both models were able to fit the data, the electric dipole model was considerably simpler and revealed a southwest-northeast-trending conductive zone. This fast approximate 3D inversion can be used as a starting point for more rigorous interpretation and/or, in some cases, as a stand-alone interpretation tool.


GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geological Institute.<br/>2017-060877