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Journal of Applied Geophysics 115 (2015) 4050

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The basement structure below the peatlignite deposit in the Philippi

sub-basin (Northern Greece) inferred by electromagnetic and
magnetic methods
M. Gurk a,, N. Tougiannidis b, I.K. Oikonomopoulos c, D. Kalisperi d

Institute of Geophysics and Meteorology, University of Cologne, Pohligstr. 3, 50969 Cologne, Germany
Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Cologne, Zuelpicher Str. 49a, 50674 Cologne, Germany
Core Laboratories LP, Petroleum Services Division, 6316 Windfern Road, Houston, TX 77040, USA
Technological Educational Institute of Crete, 3 Romanou St., 73100, Chania, Crete, Greece

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Received 3 September 2014
Received in revised form 4 February 2015
Accepted 5 February 2015
Available online 11 February 2015
Audiomagnetotelluric soundings
Magnetic anomaly
Philippi sub-basin
Philippi granitoid pluton

a b s t r a c t
During 2009 and 2010 electromagnetic (EM) soundings and a high-resolution magnetic survey were conducted
to study the deeper structure of the peatlignite deposit in the Philippi sub-basin in Northern Greece. The
primary intention of investigating the basement structure of the Philippi sub-basin is to propose the ideal location
for a deep and continuous paleoclimate drill site.
Data were collected along a 12 km transect (NNESSW) through the largest extension of the basin from Krinides
at the North to Eleftheroupolis at the South. We used a combined set of Radiomagnetotelluric (RMT), Time
Domain Electromagnetic (TEM) and Audiomagnetotelluric (AMT) soundings to derive a 2D model of the electrical
resistivity distribution versus depth using a joint inversion approach. This model was then cross correlated with a
2D forward model of magnetic anomaly data. The magnetic survey detected strong anomalies in the North that
appeared to have been generated by the Philippi granitoid pluton. All three individual data sets support each
other and have jointly been analyzed. From this study we yield an asymmetric graben model of the basin structure
that shows maximum thickness (ca. 500 m) in the northern part of the basin leading to a reduction of the thickness
to the South. The interface between the basin ll and the bedrock ascend steeply in the North. The overall assessment of the deeper basin structure reveals a detachment system that is in good accordance with previous ndings.
2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
Northern Greece and the broader Aegean area are characterized by a
subsequent series of NWSE stretching basins. The Philippi sub-basin
(Figs. 1 and 2) represents the southeastern part of the great Plain of
Drama in eastern Macedonia (Northeastern Greece), which tectonically
is the most labile area. In the Philippi sub-basin, lled with late tertiary
and quaternary formations, the sedimentation started in later Miocene
times and continued on until the present day. Since early Pleistocene
times the area was dominated by the accumulation of limno-telmatic
sediments until the sub-basin was drained due to agricultural activity
between 1931 and 1944. After Tzedakis et al. (2006) the sedimentation
of peat inside the subsiding area of the Philippi sub-basin endured over
the last 1.35 My leading to the formation of, approximately 55 km2 large
and almost 200 m thick, peatlignite deposit of Philippi (Teichmller,
1968), which today is described as the largest and thickest known
Corresponding author.
E-mail addresses: (M. Gurk), (N. Tougiannidis),, (I.K. Oikonomopoulos), (D. Kalisperi).
0926-9851/ 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

quaternary peat land in the world (Seymour et al., 2004). Additionally,

the peatlignite deposit of Philippi represents the largest fossil hydrocarbon resource in the Balkans (Christanis, 1987). Within the basin
there are some tertiary granitic intrusions. One of them is the Philippi
granitoid in the northwest of Krinides with a total surface outcrop of
about 1 km2. After Stampolidis et al. (2000) this outcrop is associated
with a large intrusion interpreted as the source of a magnetic anomaly
in the Philippi area.
Electromagnetic basin studies are becoming increasingly more
important in basin exploration programs, usually in combination with
seismic, gravity and/or magnetic data. Maillard et al. (2010) used a seismic marker to study the spatial evolution of the Messin. Controlled
Source Electromagnetics (CSEM) exhibit in the electrical eld
component the best sensitivity to resistive target formations; making
this technique particularly suitable to characterize hydrocarbon reservoirs or salt formations (Constable and Weiss, 2006). In turn, the
Magnetotelluric technique (MT) is powerful in delineating subsurface
zones with aqueous uid-lled porosity networks, which are characterized by low bulk electrical resistivity.
Previous electromagnetic investigations of basin structures in
Greece are scarce or unpublished, and concentrate mostly on seismic

M. Gurk et al. / Journal of Applied Geophysics 115 (2015) 4050


Fig. 1. Geotectonic setting of Greece and the broader Aegean. AL: Albania, BG: Bulgaria, FYROM: Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, TR: Turkey.
After RondogianniTziambaou and Bornovas (1983) and Tougiannidis (2009).

hazards. MT, in combination with other methods, has been applied to

the EUROSEISTEST test area in the Mygdonian basin in Greece
(Thessaloniki, National Strong-Motion Station). This study showed
that electromagnetic geophysical techniques are useful to investigate
sedimentary basins in order to characterize the seismic hazard and its
dependency on site effects (Bastani et al., 2011; Dimitriu et al., 1998;
Gurk et al., 2008; Savvaidis et al., 2000; Widodo et al., 2010). Towards
the East, the Thrace basin in Turkey has been investigated with MT to
map electrical resistivity variations of the major stratigraphic units
(Bayrak et al., 2004). Regional MT studies in western Turkey focused
mostly on crustal-scale investigations of fault zones (Candansayar
et al., 2012; Ernst, 2005; Grer and Bayrak, 2007).
In our survey area, we expect a high contrast in the electrical
resistivity between the resistive basement rocks and the conductive
basin sedimentary inll, making the MT method suitable for studying
the internal structure and the top-of basement distribution of the
Philippi sub-basin by means of a combined resistivity-magnetic
model. From this model we then suggest the best location for a deep
and continuous paleoclimate drill site to be within the maximum thickness of the sediments.
2. Geological settings
2.1. Geology stratigraphy
Northeastern Greece (Figs. 1 and 2) is dominated by marbles,
amphibolites, and orthogneisses of the Rhodope Massif (Fig. 1), which
is considered to be an Alpine nappe of continental and oceanic crust
(Burg et al., 1996; Kronberg et al., 1970; Marchev et al., 2005; Meyer,

1969; Ricou et al., 1998; van Hinsbergen et al., 2005). The ages of the
plutonic protoliths of the orthogneisses range from 310 to 270 Ma.
The marbles and amphibolites are interpreted as metamorphosed
sedimentary and volcanic cover of the plutonic basement (Brun and
Sokoutis, 2007; Liati and Fanning, 2005; Liati and Gebauer, 1999;
Turpaud and Reischmann, 2003; Wawrzenitz and Krohe, 1998). The
pre-Neogene basement of the Drama Basin and the borders of the
Philippi peatland are constituted by the Rhodope Metamorphic
Province (RMP) (Dinter, 1998).
The Rhodope massif is subdivided into the lower tectonic (or
Pangeon) unit and the upper tectonic (or Sidironeron) unit (Burg
et al., 1996; Dimadis and Zachos, 1989; Kyriakopoulos et al., 1996;
Mposkos and Liati, 1993; Papanikolaou and Panagopoulos, 1981;
Zachos and Dimadis, 1983), which show evidence for greenschist facies
metamorphism (Mposkos and Liati, 1993). Several acid plutonic bodies
were emplaced in the Pangeon unit during the Oligocene and Miocene
(Kilias and Mountrakis, 1998; Soldatos et al., 2001).
No volcanic rocks have been observed in the Drama Basin, however
two main ploutonites are present; the Granodiorite of Symvolon that
is Oligocene in age (Dinter et al., 1995), and the Phillipi granitoid that is
Late OligoceneMiddle Miocene in age (Tranos et al., 2009). Both the
Granodiorite of Symvolon and Phillipi granitoid are emplaced into
the marbles and schists of the Pangeon Unit (Tranos et al., 2009).
The neogene sediments of the Drama basin underlie either the
lignite beds or the peat and include terrestrial and uvial deposits.
The Philippi peatland (fen) covers an area of 55 km2 in the southern
part of the Drama basin and the sedimentological sequence comprises
alternations of clayey-calcareous peat with clayey-calcareous muds
and clayey-marly layers. Lignite represents the deeper telmatic facies


M. Gurk et al. / Journal of Applied Geophysics 115 (2015) 4050

Fig. 2. The location of the survey area (red ellipse) in Northern Greece with main tectonic units. The Philippi peatlignite deposit is located in the Philippi sub-basin southeast of Drama.
After Maith (2010).

of this basin (Kaouras et al., 1991; Teichmller, 1968). The whole peat/
lignite sequence reaches a maximum thickness of 190 m. Drilling work
carried out in the central and southern part of the Philippi basin up to a
depth of about 390 m indicates that since early to Middle Pleistocene
telmatic conditions often dominated over an area of 150 km2 proximal
to the western margins (Broussoulis et al., 1991; Melidonis, 1969,
Quaternary (Pliostocene) deposits are observed in most parts of the
Drama basin and consist of terrestrial, uvio-terrestrial, and lacustrine
sediments containing marls, clays, sands, and organic beds (Christanis,
1983; Melidonis, 1969). Tephra layers at 7.61 m and also between
12.87 and 12.64 m depth in the Philippi sub-basin, which were geochemically characterized and correlated with tephras from known
eruptions, have been dated at 21.950 cal yr BP (Wulf et al., 2002) and
39.3 kyr BP (De Vivo et al., 2001) respectively.
According to unpublished results of geophysical surveys by the
Greek Public Petroleum Corporation, the thickness of the Neogene
and Quaternary sediments lling the Drama basin reaches 2000 m
(Christanis et al., 1998).

oblique NWSE pure extension. The tectonic regime which gave rise
to the formation of the Rhodope massif metamorphic core complex
was a NESW radial extension activating normal faults since the Late
Miocene (Tranos et al., 2009). The radial NESW extension is similar
in deformation with that recognized to form the large Struma/Strymon
graben system, the Drama basin and other basins in the internal part of
the Hellenic orogen since the Late Miocene (Mercier et al., 1989;
Pavlides and Kilias, 1987; Tranos, 1998; Tranos et al., 2008, 2009). In
general, the deformation history of the Philippi granitoid ts well with
the Late OligoceneMiddle Miocene crustal deformation described in
other regions of the Hellenic hinterland and which have been attributed
to the transpressional deformation driven by the late-collisional processes between the Apulia and Eurasia plates (Tranos, 2009; Tranos
et al., 2008).
Neotectonic studies dealing with the deformation of the Neogene
and Quaternary basinal sediments in Northern Greece established that
the onset of the neotectonic regime took place in the Late Miocene
with a NESW extension and since the Lower Pleistocene has been
changed to NS extension (Lyberis, 1984; Mercier et al., 1989;
Pavlides and Kilias, 1987; Tranos, 1998).

2.2. Tectonics
3. Geophysical data
The exposed granitoids in the Rhodope massif was the result of a
Tertiary extension that dominated the Rhodope massif forming a metamorphic core complex (Kilias and Mountrakis, 1998). Strain analysis of
the microgranitoid enclaves using the Rf/ technique and the study of
the faulting affecting the Philippi granitoid suggested that during the
Middle Miocene the faulting deformation progressively changed to

3.1. Previous works in the Philippi sub-basin

A rst attempt to study the peat deposit with geophysical methods
was carried out by Voutetakis (1969). He used Vertical Electrical Soundings (VES) to get information about extension and thickness of the peat

M. Gurk et al. / Journal of Applied Geophysics 115 (2015) 4050


lignite deposit. Due to the limited exploration depth, the method failed in
detecting the underlying sequences of the peat and the basement
A predominant magnetic anomaly has been revealed by conducting
aeromagnetic surveys (ABEM, 1967). This data set was the base for various publications related to potential eld anomalies generated by the
Philippi granitoid pluton (Stampolidis and Tsokas, 2002; Stampolidis
et al., 2000; Tsokas et al., 2013).
In 2009 the shallow structure of the basin was investigated using
geophysical methods including TEM, RMT, and VES soundings to obtain
a geophysical data set that can be jointly inverted (Gurk et al., 2010;
Maith, 2010). In a second stage of the project we acquired additional
AMT deep soundings at the same location as the TEM, VES and RMT
sites and a magnetic survey to infer the deeper structure of the Philippi

subsurface of uniform resistivity . In the electromagnetic induction

technique we often use the term skin-depth skin at which the
electromagnetic wave is attenuated by a factor 1/e from its surface

3.2. RMT/AMT data

For a 1D resistivity distribution, the impedance tensor becomes a

scalar number:

The principal method used in this study is the MT technique. Depending on the selected frequency band and exploration depth the
method can be subdivided into Long period MT (LMT), AMT and RMT.
LMT and AMT are generally passive methods that use natural electromagnetic eld (EM) variations measured at surface, whereas the RMT
method uses signals from radio transmitters in the kHz range
(Cagniard, 1953; Simpson and Bahr, 2005; Tikhonov, 1950; Vozoff,
1972). A sketch of a generalized MT eld setup is displayed in Fig. 3.
This sensor setup will record time series of the horizontal components
of the magnetic (Bx and By) and electric elds (Ex and Ey). The horizontal
electric eld components are measured as the voltage drop between
two grounded non-polarizable electrodes. Alternatively, the electric
eld may be measured using two decoupled electric eld lines using
four electrodes. Since we probe the subsurface with a time varying horizontal magnetic eld of period T, the skin-effect will yield impedances
that are related to different propagation depths of the wave in the

skin 0:5 T in km:

The longer the period of the electromagnetic wave, the deeper it

penetrates into a halfspace of uniform resistivity. It is possible to use
signals of different periods to estimate a series of depth dependent
elements of the full MT impedance tensor Z:



Z yx

Z xx
Z yx

Z xy
 x :
Z yy

Z xy
; with Z xy Z yx :

The resistivity distribution in a 2D environment is a function of the

depth and of one horizontal direction:


Z yx

Z xy
; with Z xy Z yx ; :

Formula (4) is only valid if the measured EM elds are aligned

with the direction of the geological strike . Otherwise, the diagonal elements of the tensor will not disappear and we cannot immediately distinguish between a 3D and a 2D resistivity distribution.

Fig. 3. Map view of the Philippi peatlignite deposit with drainage system and the survey line AA from Krinidis to Eleftheroupolis. The location of the Audiomagnetotelluric (AMT) sites is
indicated with black dots.
After Maith (2010).


M. Gurk et al. / Journal of Applied Geophysics 115 (2015) 4050

For this purpose, the skew (Simpson and Bahr, 2005) is a useful
Skew  1  with S1 Z xx Z yy and D2 Z xy Z yx :

The Skew will vanish for a 1D resistivity distribution.

For a given 2D resistivity distribution, two independent modes of the
EM elds exist: the transversal magnetic (TM) and the transversal
electric (TE) mode. Each mode can be analyzed and modeled independently. To decompose the tensor into these two principle surface
impedances, the tensor will be mathematically rotated by:

2ReD1 S2

 ; with S2 Z xy Z yx and D1
jD1 j2 jS2 j2
Z xx Z yy

in such a way that one of the electric eld component is parallel to the
strike (TE mode) whereas the other electric eld component is normal
to the strike (TM mode):

Z RZR ; with R



From the tensor elements we get the apparent resistivities and their
ai j

ImZ i j
0:2  T Z i j  and i j arctan
; i j xy or yx:
ReZ i j

Contrary to the applied AMT method where the full impedance tensor is estimated, our scalar operating RMT instrument requires choosing
one of the modes in advance to install the magnetic and electric eld
sensors in accordance to the geological strike. The choice of the mode
will be made upon available transmitter frequencies and transmitter
directions with respect to the strike of the resistivity anomaly.
Fig. 4 shows the location of the 11 AMT sites along a ca. 12 km transect normal through the Philippi sub-basin. The AMT site spacing on this
line is 500 m to 1000 m depending on the accessibility in the peat land.
Some areas are not covered due to a ooding event in spring 2010. AMT
data were collected using 2 MTU-2000 instruments made by Uppsala
University. The instrument utilizes Earth Data PR6-24 loggers in

Fig. 4. Generalized sketch of a Magnetotelluric setup. The magnetic eld sensors are orientated to the North and to the East. The electric eld is measured as the voltage drop between two grounded non-polarizable electrodes in Northsouth and Eastwest direction.

combination with Metronix MFS06 induction coils. The horizontal electric eld components were measured with non-polarizable Ag/AgCl
electrodes. Whenever possible, the electrode spacing was extended to
a maximum of 100 m using a symmetric cross shaped conguration,
having a ground electrode in its center. Data were recorded for approx.
24 h in two bands with a sampling frequency of 20 Hz and 1 kHz. The
time series were processed with the robust remote reference code of
Smirnov (2003). Several time segments for 1 kHz and 20 Hz recordings
were treated independently and thereafter averaged together to obtain
the nal estimates of the AMT impedance tensor for a period ranging
between T = 0.004 s and T = 3 s. Some of the AMT impedances are
evaluated in a shorter period range, depending on the registration
time of the instruments. During robust averaging using the reduced
M-estimator we calculated error bars based on the bootstrap method
(Smirnov, 2003). The vertical magnetic eld component has been recorded as well but it shows poor quality in our survey and has not
been used in the modeling process.
RMT data were collected at 241 sites along the prole spaced 50 m
apart. For this purpose we used a scalar operating RMT device developed for hydrogeological investigations on karst areas (Mller, 1982a,
b; Turberg et al., 1994). The instrument makes use of remote radio
transmitters in a frequency range f = 10250 kHz. The system displays
the measured values of the apparent resistivity and phase. Data have
been acquired at three frequencies: f1 = 261 kHz, f2 = 153 kHz and
f3 = 23.4 kHz with respect to the geological strike of 100N in the TM
mode. No TE mode data were recorded.
3.3. Total magnetic eld data
The total magnetic eld has been measured in 2010 with a GSM-19 T
magnetometer every 25 m along the prole. Diurnal variations on the
eld have been removed using a base magnetometer station. Based on
the IGRF, we calculated the following geomagnetic eld parameter for
our survey: F = 46,913.6; I = 58.02 and D = 4.06. Measurements of
the magnetic susceptibility on outcrops in the area for typical rock
types were: granitoid: 0.031 S.I.: sediments: 0.011S.I. and 0.000 S.I. for
the marbles (Atzemoglou, 1997).
3.4. Data evaluation and analysis
Fig. 5 displays the RMT apparent resistivities (Fig. 5a) and phases
(Fig. 5b) along the prole. In the center of the basin (y = 6000 m),
the apparent resistivities exhibit values between 7 and 40 m, the
phases are generally above 45 implying a decrease of the resistivity
with depth. Based on the Bostick transformation (Goldberg and
Rotstein, 1982), the depth of investigation in the center of the basin is
not deeper than ca. 20 m. Approaching the rims of the basin, the elevation (Fig. 5d) and the resistivities increase and the phase drops down
below 45, indicating the onset of the resistive basement.
The distribution of the magnetic eld anomaly along the prole is
plotted in Fig. 5c. In the North, the anomaly pattern shows a steep gradient that we address to the presence of the Philippi granitoid pluton.
Towards the South, the magnitude of the anomaly decreases more or
less continuously from values of 150 nT down to 50 nT. The overall
data quality of the RMT and magnetic data is good. Some data have
been removed due to the inuence of power- and pipe-lines crossing
the prole. Especially the most northern part of the prole is affected
by cultural noise of the Krinides village.
The strike and dimensionality analysis of the AMT impedances show
a general geological strike of ca. 100N and skew values between 0 and
0.1 for longer periods, indicating a 1D to 2D resistivity distribution. All
AMT impedances have been rotated by 10 into the strike and the impedance tensor is decomposed into the principle impedances: Zxy =
ZTM and Zyx = ZTE.
One of our innovative ideas in the survey design is the combination
of scalar RMT, TEM and full tensor AMT data into one coherent set of TE

M. Gurk et al. / Journal of Applied Geophysics 115 (2015) 4050


Fig. 5. Radiomagnetotelluric (RMT) and total magnetic eld data along prole AA. a) TM-mode RMT apparent resistivities for three frequencies along the prole. b) TM-mode RMT phase
values for three frequencies along the prole. c) Magnitude of the total magnetic eld anomaly along the prole. d) Elevation above sea level along the prole.

and TM mode impedances. This step is justied since the resistivity distribution for the rst 20 m in the basin is basically one dimensional. The
RMT impedance varies only with depth and is therefore independent of
the mode and we yield Zxy = Zyx. A typical sounding curve of such
combined data set is displayed for AMT site 02 in Fig. 6. With increasing
period and increasing exploration depth, the apparent resistivities drop
down towards 5 m. The onset of the resistive basement is shown by
the increasing values and the split of the two modes of the apparent resistivity curves at a period of approx. T = 0.1 s. Phase values below 45
for these periods support this observation. In summation, the analysis of
the impedance tensor indicate a predominant 1D resistivity distribution
from the highest frequencies down to a period range of ca. T = 0.1 s.
With increasing period, the 2D inuence of the basement structure is
visible in the sounding curves.
A common problem in studying basin structures with MT is the so
called static shift effect. Small scale resistivity inhomogeneities, that
are too small to have an own inductive response at a given period
range, will deect or accumulate the electric eld lines in the subsurface. As a consequence, the AMT apparent resistivity curve in Fig. 6
might be shifted along the resistivity axis and a model of the data

would be misleading. To overcome this problem additional DC, RMT

or TEM soundings can be used to level the affected AMT resistivity
sounding curve. We have checked for static shift effects using available
RMT and TEM data. The gap in the sounding curve shown in Fig. 6
between the near surface RMT and the AMT data is lled up with synthetic resistivities and phase data (black line) calculated from 1D TEM
resistivity models. The good t of the transition between all three data
sets implies that the AMT impedance tensor is free of static shift effects.
4. Data modeling
For the magnetic and resistivity modeling we used codes developed
by Mackie and Madden (Mackie et al., 1997) that are implemented in
the commercial WinGlinkTM software package. Available RMT and
TEM data at coinciding locations with AMT data are combined into
AMT stations, whereas the remaining RMT data were used as regular
stations in the inversion code.
In total, 230 RMT and 11 combined sites have been taken into account
for the data inversion on a model mesh that consists of 362 horizontal and
72 vertical blocks. A common error oor of 5% was used for the RMT


M. Gurk et al. / Journal of Applied Geophysics 115 (2015) 4050

The starting model was a 100 m halfspace. In the rst stage of the
data inversion we skipped the RMT and TEM data to solve only for the
deeper structure of the basin. Without any RMT data at the anks of
the basin, this inversion reproduced there the starting model resistivities and we do not gain any information. In the second stage of the
data inversion we used all available data sets. The nal model produced
an RMS error of 1.9%. Both models are displayed in Fig. 7. Fig. 8 shows a
comparison between the model response and the measured data in
form of pseudo sections. From this Figure we can deduce that the mist
between model response and measured data is more severe in the
northern part of the prole where we also expect to have stronger
man made noise in the electromagnetic eld. An estimate of the investigation depth gives a reasonable resolution of the resistivity model for
depth down to z = 1000 m. The rims of the basin are solely studied with
RMT soundings and AMT soundings with a shorter frequency range
compared to those measured in the center of the basin. Consequently,
the investigation depths are shallower at the anks.
Information that is related to deeper structures can be gained from
the 2D forward model of the total magnetic eld. Using the above stated
estimates of the magnetic susceptibility, the modeling then allows
separation into 3 units of different magnetization.
5. Results and discussion

Fig. 6. Example of a combined sounding curve at AMT site 02. Near surface information is
gained by 1D RMT data, whereas information from the basement is deduced from the AMT
period range. The gap between RMT and AMT range is covered by the AMT model
response which is calculated from 1D time-domain electromagnetic (TEM) modeling.
TEM data are used to cope with static shift effects. The sounding curve is rotated into
the strike direction of the basin. The xy-polarization (red dots) is the TM-mode; the
yx-polarization (blue dots) is the TE-mode of the general 2D resistivity distribution.
Matching modes imply a 1D resistivity distribution.

impedances, whereas the AMT data error was taken from the robust
processing procedure. TE- and TM mode data have jointly been inverted
for 5 interpolated frequencies per decade using a smoothing operator
equal to 3.

The 2D resistivity model of the combined RMT and AMT data and the
2D magnetic model along the prole through the basin are displayed in
the top of Fig. 9.
The model shows the resistivity distribution with depth along the
prole. It reveals low resistivities ranging from 10 m to several
100 m near the surface. The resistivities then increase up to
1000 m and more at greater depth. According to Melidonis (1969),
the peatlignite deposit can be subdivided into an upper and lower
seam of Pleistocene age. The deepest drilling in the peatlignite deposit
in the center of the Philippi sub basin (Melidonis, 1969) indicates a total
thickness of these two seams of about 200 m followed by Quaternary
(Pleistocene) deposits consisting of terrestrial, uvio-terrestrial, and lacustrine sediments with marls, clays, sands, and organic beds. Therefore,
we address the low resistivities near the surface with the peatlignite
deposit. High resistivities at greater depth are interpreted as the crystalline basement. Due to the limited frequency band of the AMT this data

Fig. 7. 2D inversion model of AMT (tau = 3, RMS = 2.0%) data along the transect AA through the basin (left). 2D inversion model of RMT&AMT (tau = 3, RMS = 1.9%) data along the
transect AA through the basin. The site distant of the 230 RMT sites is 20 m along the prole (right).

M. Gurk et al. / Journal of Applied Geophysics 115 (2015) 4050


Fig. 8. Measured vs. computed apparent resistivities and phase values for both polarizations in the form of a pseudo section. Left column TM mode data; right column TE-mode data.

set cannot give more information about the structural interior of the
crystalline basement. The estimated maximum thickness of the
sedimentary inll is about 500 m, in its entirety.
The magnetic modeling reveals three bodies of different magnetic
susceptibilities. The mist between measured and calculated data is
plotted on the top of Fig. 9. The basement of the basin is represented
by two bodies, the lower one of which exhibits an assumed magnetic
susceptibility of 0.031 referred in Fig. 9 as the magnetic basement,
while for the upper one a magnetic susceptibility of 0.000 S.I. is assumed. The near-surface body corresponds to the sedimentary lling

of the basin with a magnetic susceptibility of 0.011 S.I.. On the basis of

the magnetic data, the maximum depth to the basement is also about
500 m for the sedimentary lling. In the northern part of the prole,
the magnetic data is affected by a granitic intrusion. The top of the assumed Philippi granitoid pluton is at a depth approximately 500 m.
The results from the magnetic modeling support those obtained by
the 2D inversion of the RMT and AMT data. Both methods show nearsurface sediments with a maximum thickness in the northern part of
the basin as well as sediment thickness reduction to the SSW, whereas
at the NNE, the boundary between basin ll and bedrock ascends


M. Gurk et al. / Journal of Applied Geophysics 115 (2015) 4050

Fig. 9. 2D inversion model of RMT&AMT (tau = 3, RMS = 1.9%) data along the transect AA through the basin. The site distant of the 230 RMT sites is 20 m along the prole. The black
dashed line in the resistivity model section refers to the estimated investigation depth (DOI) of the AMT method. The white lines are interfaces of the magnetic model. Values of the
magnetic susceptibility are given in S.I. units. The magnetic anomaly data and the 2D model response is shown at the top of this gure. On the bottom is a geological model as derived
from the joint interpretation of the geophysical data.

M. Gurk et al. / Journal of Applied Geophysics 115 (2015) 4050

steeply. Thus, the top of the basement in the Philippi sub-basin can be
assumed at a maximum depth of about 500 m.
The bottom of Fig. 9 shows our generalized structural model as
derived from the joint interpretation of our geophysical data and the regional tectonic setting of the area. The overall assessment of the deeper
structure of this basin can be described as a detachment system that is in
good accordance with the ndings of Dinter and Royden (1993). On the
basis of these results the best location for a paleoclimate drill site would
be below AMT site 03
6. Conclusion
The basement structure of the Philippi sub-basin was studied with a
combined resistivity-magnetic model. The near surface, especially the
anks of the basin were investigated with high density scalar RMT
soundings, whereas the deeper structure of the basin is studied by
AMT soundings and magnetic data. Additional TEM data were used to
correct for static shift effects and to ll up the gap in the sounding curves
between the RMT and AMT frequency band. This study was able to reveal
the top of the basement structure in a depth of about 500 m.
Our survey design benets from scalar RMT data at the rims of the
basin. Its frequency range is well adopted for detecting the near surface
resistivity distribution of the basement. The method is fast (ca. 5 min for
a site) and can even be applied in areas where AMT soundings are difcult to deploy. In the center of the basin, RMT data serve in combination
with TEM soundings to correct for static shift effects and help to constrain the resistivity model. Combining the EM data in the center of
the basin is justied since the resistivity distribution at near surface is
predominantly 1D. This assumption might not be valid for other surveys
and a real joint inversion of time domain and frequency domain data
will be more appropriate.
The study was supported by the Marie Curie Reintegration Grant
IGSEA Integrated Nonseismic Geophysical Studies to Assess the Site
Effect of the EUROSEISTEST Area in Northern Greece PERG03-GA2008-230915 {REF RTD REG/T.2 (2008)D/596232}, the Deutsche
Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG Program: SFB 806) and the Institute of
Engineering Seismology and Earthquake Engineering (ITSAK) in
Thessaloniki. We especially thank the geotechnician of Core Laboratories LP Yosef Winard for proofreading this manuscript.
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