Interpretation of Very Low Frequency

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Interpretation of Very Low Frequency

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terms of normalized current density over variable topography

Anand Singh ⁎, S.P. Sharma

Department of Geology and Geophysics, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, 721302, West Bengal, India

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: A 2D inversion approach is developed to interpret VLF electromagnetic measurement recorded over variable to-

Received 9 December 2015 pography. To depict the variable topography accurately, an octree mesh discretization is incorporated. Subsurface

Received in revised form 15 July 2016 structure is modeled in terms of apparent current density distribution and compared with the inversion results

Accepted 20 July 2016

for actual resistivity distribution obtained using numerical techniques. The study demonstrates that the results

Available online 25 July 2016

obtained using both approaches (current density and resistivity distribution) are comparable, but due to analyt-

Keywords:

ical expression, current density imaging is faster. The conjugate gradient method is used to reduce the computa-

VLF electromagnetic tion time and storage space when solving the matrix equations, resulting in feasible and practical imaging

Subsurface imaging inversion of VLF data. The preconditioned matrix, which is determined by the distances between the blocks

Current density and observation points, has an important function in improving the resolution. In case of ﬂat earth,

Inversion preconditioned conjugate gradient inversion of data results in images that are comparable to those obtained

Topography using resistivity inversion. We also test whether topography variation in the order of skin depth is signiﬁcant

to incorporate topography in the modeling. The example of a topographical ﬁeld VLF data inversion shows the

efﬁcacy of the presented approach to appraise the subsurface structure in terms of current density.

© 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction of VLF data has been developed to delineate 2D and 3D subsurface struc-

tures (Beamish, 1994, 1998, 2000; Sharma and Kaikkonen, 1998;

The Very Low Frequency (VLF) electromagnetic method is a popular Kaikkonen and Sharma, 1998; Baranwal et al., 2011; Kaikkonen et al.,

plane wave electromagnetic (EM) method to map shallow geological 2012; Kamm and Pedersen, 2014). The aforesaid interpretation tech-

conductors on large scale due to its low cost and fast survey speed. niques need a large amount of memory for the computing as well as a

The VLF method has been successfully used in solving a variety of geo- great deal of computation time. To speed up computation, analytical

logical problems in geothermal investigation (Baranwal and Sharma, techniques were developed for imaging of the subsurface conductors.

2006; Zlotnicki et al., 2006), geotechnical investigation (Sharma et al., The ﬁltering techniques developed by Fraser (1969) and Karous and

2010; Sungkono et al., 2014b), groundwater contamination and waste Hjelt (1983) are frequently used to interpret VLF data qualitatively.

management studies (Poddar and Rathor, 1983; Monteiro Santos Boukerbout et al. (2003) interpreted isolated conductors from VLF

et al., 2006), archeological investigations (Drahor, 2006), mineral, data using the wavelet approach. A more advanced ﬁltering technique

groundwater and environmental investigations (Paterson and Ronka, was discussed by Pedersen and Becken (2005) to construct correspond-

1971; Philips and Richards, 1975; Bernard and Valla, 1991; Benson ing equivalent current density distribution images, which would also

et al., 1997; Tezkan, 1999; Sharma and Baranwal, 2005; Mohanty provide quantitative information about the depth of the conductor. Re-

et al., 2011; Sundararajan et al., 2011; Sungkono et al., 2014a; Sungkono cently, Singh and Sharma (2015) showed better results than obtained

et al., 2015; Biswas and Sharma, 2016). The method has been used for through the ﬁltering techniques developed by Karous and Hjelt

land as well as airborne surveys (Arcone, 1978; Pedersen and Oskooi, (1983) and Pedersen and Becken (2005). They developed a subsurface

2004; Pedersen et al., 2009). imaging technique using inversion strategy rather than an inverse ﬁlter.

Different qualitative and quantitative approaches have been devel- Singh and Sharma (2015) also revealed that the results get closer to

oped to interpret VLF electromagnetic data. Quantitative interpretation those obtained by the aforementioned quantitative interpretation tech-

niques. All the aforementioned analytical approaches have been devel-

oped for ﬂat earth models.

⁎ Corresponding author.

E-mail addresses: anand@gg.iitkgp.ernet.in (A. Singh), spsharma@gg.iitkgp.ernet.in In plane wave electromagnetic methods, small-scale rugged obser-

(S.P. Sharma). vation surfaces have little or no effect. However, a large-scale rugged

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jappgeo.2016.07.018

0926-9851/© 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

A. Singh, S.P. Sharma / Journal of Applied Geophysics 133 (2016) 82–91 83

observation surface can affect the responses even at frequencies below measured real anomaly is proportional to the vertical component of the

10 Hz (Chouteau and Bouchard, 1988; Jiracek et al., 1989; Wannamaker magnetic ﬁeld. The vertical component of the magnetic ﬁeld in the

et al., 1986). Since the VLF transmitters operate in a high frequency study area revealed the presence of 2D and 3D lateral conductivity var-

range (between 5–30 kHz), topographical variation in the order of iations as the homogeneous half-space and 1D variations in resistivity

10 m will also affect the response depending on the resistivity of the do not produce the vertical secondary magnetic ﬁeld. Since Hsx b HPx , it

area and the frequency used (Arcone, 1978; Fischer, 1989; Karous, is an acceptable approximation to neglect the anomalous horizontal

1979; Liu and Becker, 1992). There are two regular approaches for the component of the magnetic ﬁeld. Hx in Eq. (1), can be considered uni-

inversion to deal with topographical surfaces. In the ﬁrst approach, form in the study area. In the present work, Hx is considered as unity

topographical surfaces are considered a ﬁeld distortion and corrections in order to equalize the relationship between the real anomaly and

are made accordingly (Baker and Myers, 1980; Chouteau and Bouchard, the vertical component of the magnetic ﬁeld.

1988; Jiracek et al., 1989). In the second approach, topography is incor-

porated explicitly during the modeling and inversion (Baba and Chave, 2.1. Computation of the vertical component of the magnetic ﬁeld from 2D

2005; Key et al., 2006; Franke et al., 2007; Baranwal et al., 2011). To deal current density distribution

with the surface topography, rectangular discretization is commonly

used. As shown in Fig. 1a, the near surface and air block is divided into Using Biot-Savart law, Karous and Hjelt (1983) and Singh and

two parts separated by the topographical surface. Such discretization Sharma (2015) computed the vertical component of the magnetic

produces large errors in describing rugged terrains. An octree-mesh ﬁeld for a given two-dimensional current density distribution. Karous

generation divides the subsurface blocks into smaller blocks to depict and Hjelt (1983) assumed that a small block (dxdz) will have a uniform

the surface topography accurately (Fig. 1b). This technique has been current density and derived the vertical component of the magnetic

used in electromagnetics (Ascher and Haber, 2001; Haber and ﬁeld. Further, they developed an efﬁcient ﬁlter to calculate equivalent

Heldmann, 2007; Baranwal et al., 2011), large-scale earthquake model- current density from the observed magnetic ﬁeld. However, Singh and

ing (Bielak et al., 2005), and airborne magnetic data interpretations Sharma (2015) derived a frequency dependent analytical expression.

(Davis and Li, 2013). Since topographic data contains both positive and negative z values, it

In the present study, an attempt is made to compute the vertical is not acceptable to assume that current density decreases exponentially

component of the magnetic ﬁeld for a given current density distribution with depth. So, a uniform current density in a particular small block was

over topographic variations. Further, a 2D inversion approach incorpo- considered (the same law of physics that has been considered in the

rating the preconditioned conjugate gradient approach is developed Karous and Hjelt (1983) ﬁltering approach) and an analytical solution

for inversion of the VLF data directly for models including topography. was derived to compute the vertical component of the magnetic ﬁeld

Initially, the inversion approach was tested on a ﬂat earth model along the proﬁle for a given 2D rectangular block (Appendix 0).

and the efﬁcacy of the preconditioner (determined by the distances Fig. 2 presents an octree-mesh discretization where smaller ele-

between the blocks and the observation points) in improving the ments are used to depict the near surface zone; as depth increases the

quality of the imaging technique is studied. The developed imaging size of the elements increases accordingly. The observation points at

technique is also compared with the actual resistivity distribution the Earth's surface were located between −250 m and 250 m with an

obtained using a rigorous resistivity inversion (Baranwal et al., increment of 10 m. The plotted subsurface is divided into 466 cells.

2011) on the ﬂat earth model. Finally, the application of the approach The cells are numbered from left to right and top to bottom from 1 to

is demonstrated using data measured over undulating topography 466 (Fig. 2a). Further, for the model including topography, the observa-

(synthetic as well as real data) and compared with the results obtained tion points along the topographic surface were located between

using resistivity inversion. −500 m and 500 m with an increment of 25 m and similarly, the cells

are numbered from left to right and top to bottom, correspondingly,

2. Computational approach from 1 to 249 (Fig. 2b) in the present study.

The vertical component of the magnetic ﬁeld of rectangle ABCD at

In the VLF method, the ratio of the vertical component of the mag- the observation point (0, 0) is expressed as (Fig. 3)

netic ﬁeld to the horizontal component of the total ﬁeld is measured. ! !3

2

Further, this ratio is transformed into a real anomaly and expressed as x2kþ1 þ z2kþ1 x2kþ1 þ z2k

z

6 kþ1 ln −z k ln 7

a percentage (Smith and Ward, 1974). 6 x2k þ z2kþ1 x2 þ z2k 7

6 ! k 7

6 7

k jk 6 −1 xkþ1 ðzkþ1 −zk Þ 7

Hz ΔHz ¼ 6 þ2xkþ1 tan 7 ð2Þ

%Real anomaly ¼ 100 Re ð1Þ 4π 6 xkþ1 þ zk zkþ1

2 7

Hx 6 ! 7

6 7

4 −1 x ðz

k kþ1 −z k Þ 5

−2xk tan

where, Hx = HPx + HSx (term HPx denotes primary and HSx denotes the sec- x2k þ zk zkþ1

ondary horizontal magnetic ﬁeld) and Hz denotes the vertical magnetic

ﬁeld. Since the primary horizontal ﬁeld is uniform in the study area, the where, ΔHkz is the vertical magnetic ﬁeld due to the kth rectangular

Fig. 1. Discretization approaches to deal with the surface topography. (a) Rectangular division and (b) octree-mesh division.

84 A. Singh, S.P. Sharma / Journal of Applied Geophysics 133 (2016) 82–91

Fig. 2. Octree-mesh parameterization to compute the vertical component of the magnetic ﬁeld for models not accounting for topography and including topography. (a) To compute the

response on the ﬂat earth model, the total number of measuring points is 51 (black arrow). The plotted subsurface is divided into 466 cells. The cells are numbered from left to right and top

to bottom, correspondingly, from 1 to 466. (b) Similarly for models including topography the total number of measuring points is 51 (black arrow) and the cells are numbered from left to

right and top to bottom, correspondingly, from 1 to 253.

block, jk is the current density of the kth block, and (xi, zi) is the coordi- Let (xi0, zi0)(i = 1, 2, 3, ... , M) be the coordinates of the data point

nate of the kth rectangular block. Total vertical ﬁeld due to all rectangu- where M is the number of data points along the proﬁle. Then the vertical

lar blocks can be written as summation of the ﬁelds due to the component of the magnetic ﬁeld at the ith data point is given by

individual blocks at the observation points

X

N

X

N di ¼ ai;k jk ð4Þ

Hz ¼ ΔHkz ð3Þ k¼1

k¼1

where, jk is the current density at top of the kth block and ai ,k is matrix

where, N is the number of the rectangular blocks. element representing the inﬂuence of the kth block on the ith data point.

Fig. 3. The vertical component of the magnetic ﬁeld of rectangle ABCD at the observation point (0, 0).

A. Singh, S.P. Sharma / Journal of Applied Geophysics 133 (2016) 82–91 85

Using Eq. (2), the exact expression for ai ,kis The Eq. (4) can be written in matrix notation

d ¼ G:m ð6Þ

2 2 2 ! 3

x −xi þ zkþ1 −zi0 where, d is the observed vertical component of the magnetic ﬁeld, m is

6 zkþ1 −zi0 ln kþ1 0 2 7 the model parameter vector (current density), G is the M × N dimen-

6 2 7

6 xk −xi0 þ zkþ1 −zi0 7

6 ! 7 sional sensitivity matrix of which the elements are the anomalies

6 2 2 7

6 x −x i

þ z −z i 7 caused by blocks with unit current density and M and N are the number

6− zk −zi0 ln kþ1 0

k 0

7

6 2 2 7

1 6

6

xk −x0 þ zk −z0

i i 7

7 of observed data and blocks, respectively.

aði; kÞ ¼ ! ð5Þ

4π 6

6 x −x i

z −z i

− z −z i

7

7

6 þ2 xkþ1 −x tan

i −1

kþ1 0

2

kþ1 0

k 0

7

6 0 7 3. Inverse modeling

6 xkþ1 −x0 þ zk −z0 zkþ1 −z0 7

i i i

6 ! 7

6 7

6 7

4 −2 x −xi tan−1 xk −x0 zkþ1 −z0 − zk −z0

i i i

5 The problem of imaging the subsurface conductor is attributed to

k 0 2

xk −x0 þ zk −z0 zkþ1 −z0

i i i

the optimization of the current density distribution by solving the in-

verse problem of Eq. (6). The conjugate gradient method is one of the

most effective approaches to solve such equations. This approach has

Fig. 4. Current density sections for the vertical component of the magnetic ﬁeld anomalies with different β values.

86 A. Singh, S.P. Sharma / Journal of Applied Geophysics 133 (2016) 82–91

(Mackie and Madden, 1993; Newman and Alumbaugh, 2000; Rodi

and Mackie, 2001), electromagnetic (Ellis and Oldenburg, 1994), di-

rect current resistivity (Spitzer, 1995; Zhang et al., 1995), magnetic

data inversion (Pilkington, 1997; Liu et al., 2013; Liu et al., 2015),

and gravity inversion (Liu et al., 2015). The conjugate gradient meth-

od has several advantages. First, the iteration times are ﬁnite. Theo-

retically, the algorithm can converge after a ﬁnite number of

iterations. The objective function ϕ(m) of VLF data inversion is

given by

T

min ϕðmÞ ¼ ðd−GmÞ W d ðd−GmÞ ð7Þ

m

1 1 1

where, W d ¼ diag ; ; :::; and σi is the standard deviation

σ 21 σ 22 σ 2M

of the ith observation (Li and Oldenburg, 1996, 1998). mmin i and mmax

i

are the lower and upper geological constraints for the ith model pa-

∂ϕðmÞ

rameter. Minimizing the objective function ϕ(m), let ¼ 0 and

∂m

then obtain

GT W d GΔm ¼ GT W d Δd ð9Þ

tical component of the magnetic ﬁeld data and Δm is the update in

the model parameters. In the present inversion problem, the condi-

tion number of the coefﬁcient matrix, i.e., GTWdG in Eq. (9) is large

and usually exceeds 10 15 , thereby seriously affecting the conver-

gence. Pilkington (1997) improved the condition number of the ma- 3.1. Preconditioned matrix

trix and the convergence rate of the conjugate gradient method by

multiplying the preconditioned matrix on both sides of the matrix In the present study, the dimensions of matrices G and GTWdG are

equation 51 × 466 and 466 × 466, respectively. The condition number of the co-

efﬁcient matrix GTWdG is 1019 and this makes the solution of Eq. (9) un-

stable. To overcome this problem, Pilkington (1997) inverted surface

magnetic data with β equal to 3 for the magnetic method. Liu et al.

PGT W d GΔm ¼ PGT W d Δd ð10Þ (2013) assumed that the diagonal elements of the coefﬁcient matrix

GTWdG will be attenuated by β power with the distance between the ob-

servation points and blocks. Thus, the diagonal elements can be written as

where, P is the preconditioned matrix given by P = (GTWdG)− 1. The

preconditioned matrix P plays a vital role in improving the quality of diag GT W d G ¼ ðΔLÞ−β I ð11Þ

subsurface imaging. We solve Eqs. (9) and (10) to obtain the current

density distributions in the subsurface. Compared with the general where, ΔL is the distance between the observation points and blocks. The

form of regularization inversion of Tikhonov and Arsenin (1977) preconditioned matrix P is given by

used by Singh and Sharma (2015), the objective function in the pres-

ent approach does not include the depth-weighting and roughness P ¼ ðΔLÞβ I ð12Þ

constraints in the regularization term. We add the depth-weighting

in the form of a pre-conditioner. The ﬂows of inverse modeling for where, β is a constant related to the rapid attenuation of the vertical com-

VLF data are as follows: ponent of the magnetic ﬁeld with distance between the observation

To begin with, we divide the subsurface by applying an octree-mesh points and the blocks. The vertical component of the magnetic ﬁeld due

discretization. Then an initial model m0 is given and the vertical compo- to the small element dxdz is expressed as (Eq. (A2))

nent of the magnetic ﬁeld (dpre) is computed using Eqs. 4–6. Subse-

quently, we calculate the update in the model parameters (i.e., Δm) 0 jy dxdz jy dxdz x

∂Hz ð0; 0Þ ¼ sinθ ¼ 2 ð13Þ

by solving Eq. (10) using the conjugate gradient algorithm. The algo- 2πr 2π r

rithm ﬂowchart steps of VLF imaging using the preconditioned conju-

gate gradient method are as follows: Eq. (13) shows that when r N 0, the vertical component of the

magnetic ﬁeld decays by the 2nd power of the distances between

the ﬁeld source and the observation points, respectively. Therefore

A. Singh, S.P. Sharma / Journal of Applied Geophysics 133 (2016) 82–91 87

Parameters of ﬂat Earth model and model including topography.

Model parameters Flat Earth model Model including The results are presented in three sections. In the ﬁrst section, inver-

topography sion results are presented for the ﬂat earth model. Real VLF anomaly has

Body 1 Body 2 Body 3 Body 1 Body 2 been computed for the actual resistivity model (Model 1 of Table 1)

using a ﬁnite element code (Baranwal et al., 2011) for 19.8 kHz and an

Location (m) −85 0 85 −275 225

Width (m) 20 30 20 50 50 attempt has been made to retrieve subsurface structures in terms of ap-

Depth to the top (m) 36 18 11 16 35 parent current density by inverting real VLF anomaly using the present-

Depth Extent (m) 62 36 26 58 86 ed approach. ii) In the second section, results are presented for the

Target Resistivity (Ωm) 10 50 100 50 10 topographical data and the inﬂuence of the topography on the VLF re-

Host Resistivity (Ωm) 1000 1000

sponse has been examined. Finally, in Section 3, the real VLF anomaly

from a ﬁeld example has been interpreted using the developed ap-

for the present study, β ≤ 4 is the theoretical range of value (Liu et al., proach and the results are compared with the model parameters obtain-

2013). ed using the rigorous resistivity inversion of the published data of

A theoretical example of the presented inversion is shown in Fig. 4 Baranwal et al. (2011).

for different β values using the vertical component of the magnetic In the presented preconditioned conjugate gradient inversion, β

ﬁeld and the preconditioned conjugate gradient method. value and the maximum number of iterations have been taken as 4

The forward response, i.e., the vertical component of the magnetic and 200, respectively. On the testing the results, minimum and

ﬁeld was generated for a 60 m × 45 m blocks and depth to the top at maximum value of current density was found to be constrained

36 m using Eq. (6). Current density in the block was considered as at − 0.005 A/m2 and 1 A/m2, respectively.

0.0025 A/m2 (Fig. 4a). The inversion results demonstrate that the appro-

priate β and preconditioned matrix can improve the resolution efﬁ- 4.1. Synthetic example — ﬂat earth model

ciently. When β = 0, the preconditioned matrix has no role. Thus,

current density concentrates around the earth surface (Fig. 4b). As β in- Model 1 depicts three conductors at different depths in a homoge-

creases, the target gradually shift towards actual depth such that resolu- neous half-space of 1000 Ωm resistivity (Fig. 5a). Resistivity of the target

tion increases gradually and the effect by which current density 1, 2 and 3 is 10, 50 and 100 Ωm, respectively. The depth to the top of

concentrates near the surface decreases signiﬁcantly. For β ≥ 3, the cur- targets 1, 2, and 3 is 36 m, 18 m and 11 m, respectively. The horizontal

rent density concentrates near the actual target and the resolution is im- distance between the targets is 85 m. Fig. 5b reveals the synthetic VLF

proved signiﬁcantly (Fig. 4d). When β ≥ 4, the change in β does not data (real and imaginary anomaly) computed using the ﬁnite element

affect the inversion results (Fig. 4e). Hence, the appropriate range is approach (Baranwal et al., 2011). We inverted the data (real and imag-

3 ≤ β ≤ 4 for the present approach. inary both) shown in Fig. 5b using the resistivity inversion technique of

Fig. 5. Inversion result on the ﬂat earth model. (a) True Resistivity model. (b) Fittings between the observed (blue dots for real anomaly and blue circles for imaginary anomaly) and 2D

joint resistivity inversion modeled VLF data (red solid line for real anomaly and red dashed line for imaginary anomaly). (c) 2D resistivity image using joint inversion of the real and

imaginary parts of the VLF data (Baranwal et al., 2011). (d) Fittings between the observed (blue dots) and the presented approach modeled data (red solid line) of real anomaly.

(e) Inverted apparent current density section using the presented approach. (For interpretation of the references to color in this ﬁgure legend, the reader is referred to the web version

of this article.)

88 A. Singh, S.P. Sharma / Journal of Applied Geophysics 133 (2016) 82–91

Baranwal et al. (2011). We take a 1000 Ωm half-space as the initial and a Model 2 of Table 1. We inverted the data using resistivity inversion by

priori model. The resulting model of the resistivity distribution is shown Baranwal et al., 2011 (Fig. 6c) and the presented approach (Fig. 6e) gen-

in Fig. 5c. Fitting between the observed and modeled VLF data is also erated for the above model. The comparison of the results between the

shown in the Fig. 5b. Next, we inverted only real anomaly data using observed and modeled VLF data is shown in Fig. 6b. The results obtained

the presented approach (pre-conditioned conjugate gradient ap- by the presented approach are closer to the actual resistivity distribu-

proach). We assumed zero current density as an initial model in all tion. For the noise-free synthetic data, ﬁtting between the observed

the blocks. For independent gaussian noisy data (with zero mean and and predicted data with the root mean square 0.1 is shown in Fig. 6d.

1% standard deviation), ﬁtting between the observed and modeled We also interpreted the above data by considering the ﬂat earth

data is shown in Fig. 5d. The resulting model of the apparent current model and present the result in Fig. 6f. The position of the region with

density distribution is shown in Fig. 5e. The horizontal locations are the low resistivity is seen to have shifted downward from its actual po-

especially well resolved. The vertical resolution is also good for sition, which is due to the coupling of the response between the conduc-

single-frequency VLF data. The level of the apparent current density tive bodies and topographical surface. Actual positions of the conductive

distribution does not match the difference in resistivity of the shal- bodies are indicated by the white solid line in Fig. 6f. This example clear-

low (100 Ωm) and the deep (10 Ωm) targets. However, the depth ly demonstrates that the rugged observation surfaces may become sig-

resolution is enough to conclude that the shallow conductor is in- niﬁcant when the scale length of topographic variations (≈20 m) is in

deed shallow and the deep conductor is indeed deep. The apparent the order of the magnitude of the skin depth (100–200 m). This is

current density distribution and the resistivity distribution depict why it is important to consider the topographical surfaces to obtain ac-

similar results. The subsurface image obtained by the presented ap- curate results.

proach is highly focused, as is obtained using rigorous resistivity

inversion. 4.3. Field example

4.2. Synthetic example — model including topography Finally, we tested the efﬁciency of the presented approach on ﬁeld

data. The real VLF anomaly of ﬁeld data was taken from the published

The synthetic model displayed in Fig. 6a consists of two anomalous data of Baranwal et al. (2011). It was collected from an area with undu-

regions having resistivities of 50 Ωm and 10 Ωm, respectively, within lating rugged surfaces in Bräunsdorf, Germany with 21.8 kHz frequency.

a 1000 Ωm half-space with a smooth, but pronounced topography. A pyrite mineralization of hydrothermal origin was geologically

The 40 observation sites are located at 25 m intervals from −490 m to mapped. Interpretation of the above-mentioned real anomaly data

485 m. A detailed description of Body 1 and Body 2 was shown in was performed using the presented approach to obtain the apparent

Fig. 6. Inversion result on the model including topography. (a) True Resistivity model. (b) Fittings between the observed (blue dots for real anomaly and blue circles for imaginary

anomaly) and 2D joint resistivity inversion modeled VLF data (red solid line for real anomaly and red dashed line for imaginary anomaly). (c) 2D resistivity image using joint inversion

of the real and imaginary parts of the VLF data (Baranwal et al., 2011). (d) Fittings between the observed (blue dots) and the presented approach modeled data (red solid line) of real

anomaly. (e) Inverted apparent current density section using the presented approach. (e) Inverted apparent current density section using the presented approach considering ﬂat

earth model. (For interpretation of the references to color in this ﬁgure legend, the reader is referred to the web version of this article.)

A. Singh, S.P. Sharma / Journal of Applied Geophysics 133 (2016) 82–91 89

current density. Fig. 7a depicts the apparent current density distribution structures. However, apparent current density image using Karous

which resembles the single conductor obtained for the model including and Hjelt (1983) ﬁltering remains unchanged even in the presence

topography located between x = 50 m and x = 100 m which is very of low frequency noise in the data. Moreover, inversion results are

well correlated with Baranwal et al. (2011) (Fig. 7c). We have also affected by low frequency noise in the data. Therefore, it is always

inverted the above data for the ﬂat earth model. It yields a dipping better to remove the high and low frequency noises from the VLF

type conductor located between x = 50 m and x = 100 m. The ﬂat data.

earth model also shows another conductive body at x = − 50 m

which seems to be due to topography alone (Fig. 7d). The inversion re- 5. Computation time

sult of Baranwal et al. (2011) for the ﬂat earth model comprises an ex-

panded split conductor at a larger depth located between x = 50 m The computation was performed on a simple Core-2 duo PC. The

and x = 100 m. They also interpreted another conductive body at computation time to perform resistivity inversion is about 30 min,

x = −50 m (Fig. 7f). Fitting between the ﬁeld data and modeled data while for the presented approach it is only a few seconds for 466 blocks.

for the inverted model on the rugged observation surfaces is shown in Computation time for resistivity inversion will increase greatly with in-

Fig. 7b and similar ﬁtting was obtained by considering ﬂat earth crease in the number of block whereas for the presented approaches, it

model (Fig. 7e). will remain insigniﬁcant.

Analysis of the results from synthetic and ﬁeld data reveals that var-

ious conductors are highlighted equally well in the apparent current 6. Conclusions

density image similar to resistivity inversion. However, we observed

that the horizontal and vertical dimensions of the conductors are re- A subsurface imaging technique was developed for the interpre-

solved quite well, and that the relative magnitudes of current densities tation of very low frequency (VLF) electromagnetic data including

for different conductors are almost similar. Therefore, apparent current topography. Initially, an analytical expression was derived to com-

densities may not be able to reveal the differences between good and pute the vertical component of the magnetic ﬁeld from the given

very good conductors. Moreover, in resistivity inversion, we get resis- current density distribution in the subsurface. Even though the an-

tivity values according to the actual resistivity of the subsurface alytical expression which we derived in the present work is not

structures. necessarily an important result, the highlight of our work is the

It is important to highlight that VLF-EM data contains both high manner in which we developed the approach to locate the conduc-

frequency (generally low amplitude of real and imaginary anomaly) tors. An octree mesh discretization was incorporated to improve

as well as low frequency noises (generally high amplitude of real and the efﬁciency of the presented approach on the topography. A 2D

imaginary anomaly). These noises must be removed using empirical preconditioned conjugate gradient inversion was used to appraise

mode decomposition techniques (Jeng et al., 2007; Sungkono et al., the subsurface conductors in terms of the current density distribu-

2014a) from the VLF-EM data before applying any ﬁltering/imaging. tion for the models including topography. The study concludes

Karous and Hjelt (1983) ﬁltering or inversion of raw data associated that the images in terms of apparent current density are closer to

with high frequency noises will result in multiple unwanted shallow the results of resistivity inversion. However, the presented

Fig. 7. Inversion result on the topographical ﬁeld data. (a) Inverted apparent current density section using the presented approach of Bräunsdorf data for a model including topography.

(b) Fitting between observed data and modeled data obtained after preconditioned conjugate gradient inversion of Bräunsdorf data starting with zero A/m2. Blue dots and red solid line

represent observed and computed data, respectively. (c) 2D resistivity image using joint inversion of the real and imaginary parts of the VLF data (Baranwal et al., 2011) of Bräunsdorf data

for a model including topography. (d) Inverted apparent current density section using the presented approach of Bräunsdorf data considering ﬂat Earth model. (e) Fitting between

observed data and modeled data obtained after PCG inversion of Bräunsdorf data considering ﬂat Earth model. (f) 2D resistivity image using joint inversion of the real and imaginary

parts of the VLF data (Baranwal et al., 2011) of Bräunsdorf data considering ﬂat Earth model. (For interpretation of the references to color in this ﬁgure legend, the reader is referred to

the web version of this article.)

90 A. Singh, S.P. Sharma / Journal of Applied Geophysics 133 (2016) 82–91

2 3

Zz2 Zz2

approach is very fast due to the analytical expression used in com- 0 jy 6 2 2

2 2

7

parison to resistivity imaging using numerical techniques. Synthetic ΔH z ð0; 0Þ ¼ 4 ln x2 þ z dz− ln x1 þ z dz5 ðA6Þ

4π

examples with and without topography are presented to demon- z1 z1

strate the suitability of the approach. The example of the ﬁeld VLF

data inversion shows the efﬁcacy of the presented approach in ap- Since

praising the subsurface conductor in terms of apparent current den-

Z z

sity similar to the rigorous inversions to obtained structures in

ln a2 þ z2 dz ¼ z ln a2 þ z2 −2z þ 2a: tan−1 ðA7Þ

terms of resistivity distribution in the subsurface. The study demon- a

strates that the rugged observation surfaces may become signiﬁcant

when the scale length of topographic variations is in the order of By combining (A6) and (A7), the vertical component of the magnetic

the magnitude of the skin depth. This is why it is important to con- ﬁeld at the point (0,0) due to a rectangular block extending from x1 to x2

sider the topographical surfaces for accurate results. in proﬁle direction and z1 to z2 in vertical direction can be derived as

" z2

Acknowledgments 0 jy z

ΔH z ð0; 0Þ ¼ z ln x22 þ z2 −2z þ 2x2 : tan−1 ðA8Þ

4π x2 z1

We thank Prof. Jianghai Xia (Editor) and two anonymous reviewers z2 #

z

for their comments and suggestions which helped improve the quality − z ln x21 þ z2 −2z þ 2x1 : tan−1

of the manuscript. A.S. thanks the Indian Institute of Technology x1 z1

India, for ﬁnancial assistance in the form of a Research Fellowship. 0 jy x2 þ z22 x22 þ z21

ΔH z ð0; 0Þ ¼ z2 ln 22 −z 1 ln ðA9Þ

This work is a part of the doctoral dissertation of A.S. 4π x1 þ z22 x21 þ z21

! !#

x2 ðz2 −z1 Þ −1 x1 ðz2 −z1 Þ

Appendix A þ 2x2 tan−1 −2x 1 tan

x22 þ z1 z2 x21 þ z1 z2

Let us assume that subsurface consist of 2D rectangular blocks

whose strike is perpendicular to the plain of Fig. 3. Due to electro- Eq. (A9) is the expression of the vertical component of the mag-

magnetic induction, induced current is setup in the conducting fea- netic ﬁeld at the point (0,0) due to a rectangular block extending

tures. Due to this current there will be a distribution of current from × 1 to × 2 (x2 N x 1 ) in the x direction and z1 to z2 (z 2 N z1) in

density in the subsurface. the vertical direction.

Let us consider that there is a uniform current density (j y) in a

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