Three-Dimensional Resistivity Modelling by the Integral Equation Method

  • Véronique Barthes
  • Guy Vasseur
Conference paper


A numerical model has been constructed to determine the electric field, electric potential, and apparent resistivity above a three-dimensional conductive inhomogeneity buried in a horizontally stratified earth with point sources of current arbitrarily situated at ground level or at depth. The problem is formulated as an integral equation; the electric potential is written as a surface integral in which the domain of integration is only the bounding surface of the inhomogeneity. The integral equation is transformed into a linear system which can be solved numerically.

The numerical modelling procedure is described and two examples of applications are given. The first deals with the possibility of detecting a buried conductive inhomogeneity simulating a magmatic chamber or a geothermal convective cell. Several parameters are considered: depth, dimension, conductivity of the inhomogeneity, conductance of the superficial layer, length and orientation of the transmitting dipole. The most important variables are found to be the depth and conductance of the upper layer. The second application attempts to quantify the influence of a conductive anomaly immediately below the ground level. With these results it has been possible to interpret an electric sounding over a marly syncline which almost completely masks the deeper structures. Several models have been formulated and compared to analog results obtained with an electrolytic tank.


Apparent Resistivity Induce Polarization Stratify Medium Conductive Anomaly Prismatic Body 
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Copyright information

© ECSC, EEC, EAEC, Brussels and Luxembourg 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Véronique Barthes
    • 1
  • Guy Vasseur
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre Géologique et GéophysiqueUniversité des Sciences et Techniques du LanguedocMontpellier CedexFrance

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