Joint inversion of lake-floor electrical resistivity tomography and boat-towed radio-magnetotelluric data illustrated on synthetic data and an application from the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory site, Sweden

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The electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) method provides moderately good constraints for both conductive and resistive structures, while the radio-magnetotelluric (RMT) method is well suited to constrain conductive structures. Additionally, RMT and ERT data may have different target coverage and are differently affected by various types of noise. Hence, joint inversion of RMT and ERT data sets may provide a better constrained model as compared to individual inversions. In this study, joint inversion of boat-towed RMT and lake-floor ERT data has for the first time been formulated and implemented. The implementation was tested on both synthetic and field data sets incorporating RMT transverse electrical mode and ERT data. Results from synthetic data demonstrate that the joint inversion yields models with better resolution compared with individual inversions. A case study from an area adjacent to the Ä spö Hard Rock Laboratory (HRL) in southeastern Sweden was used to demonstrate the implementation of the method. A 790-m-long profile comprising lake-floor ERT and boattowed RMT data combined with partial land data was used for this purpose. Joint inversions with and without weighting (applied to different data sets, vertical and horizontal model smoothness) as well as constrained joint inversions incorporating bathymetry data and water resistivity measurementswere performed. The resultingmodels delineate subsurface structures such as a major northeasterly directed fracture system, which is observed in the HRL facility underground and confirmed by boreholes. A previously uncertain weakness zone, likely a fracture system in the northern part of the profile, is inferred in this study. The fractures are highly saturated with saline water, which make them good targets of resistivity-based geophysical methods. Nevertheless, conductive sediments overlain by the lake water add further difficulty to resolve these deep fracture zones. Therefore, the joint inversion of RMT and ERT data particularly helps to improve the resolution of the resistivity models in areas where the profile traverses shallow water and land sections. Our modification of the joint inversion of RMT and ERT data improves the study of geological units underneath shallow water bodies where underground infrastructures are planned. Thus, it allows better planning and mitigating the risks and costs associated with conductive weakness zones.


  • Shunguo Wang
  • Thomas Kalscheuer
  • Mehrdad Bastani
  • Alireza Malehmir
  • Laust B. Pedersen
  • Torleif Dahlin
  • Naser Meqbel
Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Uppsala universitet
  • Sveriges Geologiska Undersökning, SGU
  • GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Geofysik


Sidor (från-till)511-533
Antal sidor23
TidskriftGeophysical Journal International
Utgåva nummer1
StatusPublished - 2018 apr 1
Peer review utfördJa


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