GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH2017, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 27-54. DOI: 10.21455/gr2017.2-2

UDC 550.837.211

Abstract  References  Full text (in Russian)


N.A. Palshin(1), E.D. Aleksanova(2), A.G. Yakovlev(3), D.V. Yakovlev(2), R. Breves Vianna(4)

(1) P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, RAS, Moscow, Russia

(2) “Nord-West”, Ltd., Moscow, Russia

(3) Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

(4) LASA Prospecções S.A., Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Abstract. Studies of sedimentary basins using the magnetotelluric (MT) sounding method have been carried out for more than 50 years. Over the past fifteen years the number of MT surveys increased manifold, which prompted the development of MT data acquisition technology, inversion and interpretation methods and the efficiency of the method achieved a new level. MT sounding method have become in high demand in the market of geophysical services. The application of MT sounding is especially effective in the regions with basalt traps, salt tectonics and folded belts, i.e. in the areas where seismic methods are confronted with certain difficulties. The paper deals with special features of sedimentary rocks electrical conductivity and its dependency on petrophysical and hydrophysical parameters: clay content, porosity, fluid salinity and temperature. Specific requirements to MT studies technology in sedimentary basins are formulated: wider period range in use and significantly smaller distances between acquisition sites to compare with deep academic studies. MT analysis and interpretation technology includes: dimensionality analysis, static shift correction, multistage data inversion and geological interpretation of resistivity structure. The use of a priori geological and geophysical information is essential.

The results of a geological interpretation of MT sounding data obtained in the Parana Basin and in the Eastern Siberia (the biggest inland areas of basalt traps) are given as examples. MT data interpretation enables to study structure of sedimentary basins in details and to identify main geological formations. Also the results of MT investigations in the Taimyr, where several new objects with good prospect for oil and gas were revealed and resistivity anomalies probably related to gashydrates were singled out, are presented. The basic directions of the further development of the MT method to enhance the efficiency of studying sedimentary basins were formulated.

Keywords: magnetotelluric sounding, sedimentary basin, basalt traps, salt dome tectonics, fold belts, reservoir and sealing properties, joint and constraint inversion.


Afanasenkov A.P., Volkov R.P. and Yakovlev D.V., High electric resistivity anomaly under permafrost sediment layer as a new prospecting indicator for hydrocarbon prospecting. Oil and Gas Geology, 2015, no 6, pp. 40-51.

Aleksanova, E.D., Alekseev, D.A., Suleimanov, A.K., and Yakovlev, A.G., Magnetotelluric studies in salt-dome tectonic settings in the Pre-Caspian depression, First Break, 2009, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 105-109.

Archie, G.E., The electrical resistivity log as an aid in determining some reservoir characteristics, Petroleum Transactions of AIME, 1942, vol. 146, pp. 54–62.

Bezruk, I.A., Berdichevsky, M.N., Klyuchkin, V.N., Kulikov, A.V., Application of theory of stochastic functions to magnetotelluric field analysis, Prikladnaya geofizika (Applied Geophysics), 1964, no 39, pp. 75-90.

Berdichevsky, M.N., Electrical prospecting using telluric current method, Gostopteckhizdat, 1960.

Berdichevsky, M.N., Electrical prospecting using magnetotelluric profiling method, Nedra, 1968.

Berdichevsky, M.N., Bubnov, V., Aleksanova, E., Alekseev, D., Yakovlev, A. and Yakovlev, D., Magnetotelluric studies in Russia: Regional-scale surveys and hydrocarbon exploration, Methods in Geochemistry and Geophysics, Electromagnetic Sounding of the Earth’s Interior: Theory, Modeling, Practice (second edition), Spichak, V.V. (Ed.), 2015. Elsevier, pp. 379-401.

Bedrosian, P.A., MT+, Integrating Magnetotellurics to Determine Earth Structure, Physical State, and Processes, Surv. Geophys., 2007, vol. 28, pp. 121-16.

Booker, J.R., The Magnetotelluric Phase Tensor: A Critical Review, Surv. Geophys., 2014, vol. 35,  pp. 7-40.

Dakhnov, V.N. Well Logging. Interpretation of well logs, Moscow: Gostoptekhizdat, 1941.

Dmitriev, V.I., Yakovlev, A.G., Golubtsova, N.S., Pushkarev, P.Yu., Kulikov, V.A., Khmelevskoy, V.K. and Shustov, N.L., Magnetotelluric method and scientific school of geophysicists of MSU, Geofizika MGU. Vchera. Segodnya. Zavtra. 1944-2014. (Geophysics in MSU. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. 1944–2014), Proceedings of Scientific Conference devoted to 70 year anniversary of Geophysical Department in MSU, Samprint, Moscow, 2014, pp. 80-98.

Frank, H.T., Gomes, M.E.B. and Formoso, M.L.L. Review of the areal extent and the volume of the Serra Geral Formation, Parana Basin, South America, Pesquisasem Geocikncias, 2009, vol.  36 (1), pp. 49-57.

Gazhula, S.V., Peculiarities of trap magmatism in relation with conditions of  hydrocarbon prospects in Siberian Platform, Neftegazovaa Geologia: Teoria i Praktika (Oil and Gas geology: Theory and Practice), 2008. vol. 3, no 1. pp. 1-8.

Haber, E. and Gazit, H. M., Model fusion and joint inversion, Surv.Geophys., 2013, vol. 34, pp. 675–695.

Hudec, M. and Jackson, M., Terra Infirma: Understanding Salt Tectonics, Earth Sci. Rev., 2007, vol. 82, pp. 1–28.

Jegen, M.D., Hobbs, R.W. Tarits, P., Chave, A.D., Joint inversion of marine magnetotelluric and gravity data incorporating seismic constraints: Preliminary results of sub-basalt imaging off the Faroe Shelf, Earth Planet. Sci. Letters, 2009, vol. 282, pp. 47-55.

Kelbert, A., Meqbel, N., Egbert, G. D. and Tandon, K., ModEM: A modular system for inversion of electromagnetic geophysical data, Computers & Geosciences, 2014, vol. 66, pp. 40-53.

Keller, G., Electrical prospecting for oil, Quarterly Journal of the Colorado School of Mines, 1968, vol. 63, no 2, pp. 1-268.

Khain, V.E. and Lomize, M.G., Geotektonika s osnovami geodinamiki (Geotectonics and basics in geodynamics), 2d edition, M.: KDU, 2005. 560 p.

Korja, T., How is the European Lithosphere Imaged by Magnetotellurics? Surv. Geophys., 2007, vol. 28, pp. 239-272.

Medina, E., Lovatini, A., Andreais, F.G., Re, S. and Snyder, F., Simultaneous joint inversion of 3D seismic and magnetotelluric data from Walker Ridge, First Break, 2012, vol. 30, pp. 85-88.

Patro, P.B.K., Brasse, H., Sarma, S.V.S. and Harinarayana, T., Electrical structure of the crust below the Deccan Flood Basalts (India), inferred from magnetotelluric soundings,Geophys. J. Int., 2005, vol. 163, no 3, pp. 931-943.

Patro, P.B.K, MT studies for petroleum and geothermal resources: Examples with emphasis on Asian region, Survey in Geophysics, 2017 (in press).

Pedersen L.B., Zhang P.and Rasmussen, T., Electrical conductivity structure around the Gravberg well, Deep Drilling in Crystalline Bedrock, V.1. The Deep Gass Drilling in the Siljan Impact structure, Sweden and Astroblemes, 1988, pp. 95-103.

Piccirillo, E.M., Bellieni, G., Cavazzini, G., Comin-Chiaramonti, P., Pertini, R., Melfi, A.J., Pinese, J.P.P., Zantadeschi, P., De Min, A. Lower Cretaceous tholeitic dyke swarms from the Ponta Grossa Arch (southeast Brazil): Petrology, Sr-Nd isotopes and genetic relationships with the Parana flood volcanics, Chemical Geology, 1990, vol. 89. pp. 19-48.

Raposo, M.I.B., Ernesto, M., Paleomagnetism of the dykes of the Ponta Grossa, Arch. Bol. IG-USP, Publ. Esp., 1991, vol. 10, pp. 85-89.

Ryzhov, A.A., Sudoplatov, A.D., Calculation of electrical conductivity of sand-clay rocks and application of functional dependences for solving hydrogeological problems, Nauchno-tekhnicheskie dostizheniya i peredovoi opyt v oblasti geologii i razdedki nedr (Scientific and technical achievements and experience in geology and prospecting), Moscow, 1990, pp. 27-41.

Saunders, A.D., Storey, M., Kent, R.W., Norry, M.J., Consequences of plume–lithosphere interactions, Magmatism and the Causes of Continental Breakup, Storey, B.C., Alabaster, T., Pankhurst, R.J. (Eds.), 1992, vol. 68. Geological Society of London Special Publication, London, pp. 41-60.

Siripunvaraporn, W., Three-Dimensional Magnetotelluric Inversion: An Introductory Guide for Developers and Users, Surv .Geophys, 2012, vol. 33, pp. 5-27.

Smirnov, M.Yu. and Egbert, G.B, Robust principal component analysis of electromagnetic arrays with missing data, Geophys. J. Int., 2012, vol. 190, no 3, pp. 1423-1438.

Strack, M.A., Soyer, W., Hallinan, S. and Watts, M.D., Distortion effects on magnetotelluric sounding data investigated by 3D modelling of high-resolution topography, GRC Transactions, 2013, vol. 37, pp. 521-528.

Vozoff, K., The magnetotelluric method in the exploration of sedimentary basins, Geophysics, 1972, vol. 37, pp. 98-141.

Yoshino, T., Laboratory electrical conductivity measurement of mantle minerals, Surv. Geophys., 2010, vol. 31, pp. 163-206.

Zhamaletdinov, A.A., On the fluid nature of intermediate conductive layers in the Earth's crust: Evidence from electromagnetic sounding and super deep well logging, Izvestiya, Physics of the Solid Earth, 2011, vol. 47, Issue 2, pp. 127-137.

Zonenshain, L.P. and Kuzmin, L.P. Intraplate tectonism and its importance for understanding Earth’ s mantle processes, Geotektonika (Geotectonics), 1983, no 1, pp. 28-45.