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Exploration Geophysics, 2009, 40, 206213

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Application of a streamer resistivity survey in a shallow


brackish-water reservoir
Sung-Ho Song1 In-Ky Cho2,3
1

Rural Research Institute, Korea Rural Community Corporation, Ansan 425-170, Korea.
Department of Geophysics, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Kangwondo 200-701, Korea.
3
Corresponding author. Email: choik@kangwon.ac.kr
2

Abstract. To delineate the resistivity structure of sub-bottom sediments in a shallow brackish-water reservoir in the western
coastal area of Korea, we carried out a streamer resistivity survey using a dipoledipole array. First, through numerical testing,
we conrmed that the resistivity method with a dipoledipole array could be applied in a shallow marine environment,
when the resistivity contrast between water and the underlying sediments ranges from a factor of 3 to 5. Also, inversion with a
water layer explicitly included is more effective than the conventional inversion method in resolving power, which we
conrmed by observing that the inversion results for synthetic datasets matched better when a water layer was included in
the inversion procedure.
After constructing a data acquisition system composed of a resistivity meter, GPS, and echo sounder, and developing
data processing software, we conducted a streamer resistivity survey and inverted the data obtained to identify the
hydrogeological sequences and sediment characteristics at the bottom of the shallow brackish-water reservoir. Drill logs
identied three sediment layers, including silty sand, ne sand, and mixed sand. The resistivity distributions from inversion
matched the resistivity ranges measured on materials obtained by sampling near the drilling points. We constructed a contour
map of the top of the mixed-sand layer, using semivariogram analysis. Comparing these results with the drilling results,
the depth to each layer, and the measured and estimated resistivity range of the materials, also corresponded to resistivity
prole. From this study, we are assured that the streamer resistivity method would be a useful tool for surveying shallow
brackish-water reservoirs.
Key words: brackish-water reservoir, inversion, semivariogram, streamer resistivity survey.

Introduction
The resistivity method has been used on land for more than a
century. Although it was developed for subsurface resources
exploration, nowadays it is used extensively for numerous
geotechnical and environmental applications. Recently, it has
begun to be used at sea (Snyder et al., 2002). As is well known,
the main problem in marine resistivity surveying is that the
seawater is extremely conductive, much more conductive than
the geological materials at or below the seaoor. Seawater
conductivity is strongly dependent on salinity and temperature.
The uppermost sediments under the sea are usually water
saturated and have resistivities of the order of 110 W.m. The
most obvious difculty in such a conductive area is that current
is channelled through the more conductive seawater, limiting the
amount of current available for penetration into the underlying
sediments. In addition, it is generally difcult to obtain
high-quality resistivity data in regions of very low electrical
resistivity, because the potential differences may be too small to
measure. Nevertheless, the marine resistivity method has recently
been developed for various geotechnical and environmental
applications.
In the shallow marine environment, the seismic reection
method, although expensive, has the advantage of providing
detailed structural information. However, lithologically, its
ability to distinguish between silt, sand, and gravel is quite
weak. However, the marine resistivity method is easy to use and
inexpensive compared to the seismic method, and it can provide
 ASEG 2009

useful information for differentiating silt from sand or gravel.


There have been several reports of resistivity surveys conducted
on or under fresh water. Baumgartner and Christensen (1998)
presented a resistivity method using an array called the shing
rod to determine the resistivity of a lake bottom. Yang et al. (2002)
illustrated a resistivity imaging technique at the water surface, to
delineate lake-bottom structure. Kim et al. (2002) also provided a
resistivity method to image the geoelectrical structure under a
river or lake bottom. In the shallow marine environment, Snyder
et al. (2002) described an instrument system for performing
continuous resistivity proling using an electrode streamer.
Graham (2002) also discussed the applicability and limitations
of the towed direct current method in the marine environment.
Here we have applied a streamer resistivity method to the
survey of a shallow brackish-water reservoir on the west coast of
Korea. Through numerical modelling and inversion, we rst
studied the performance of a streamer resistivity method which
uses a dipoledipole array, in shallow sea water up to 5 m or
more in depth, and developed data processing software to deal
with a large amount of data automatically. We then constructed a
marine resistivity data acquisition system, which included a
resistivity meter, GPS, and echo sounder. Finally, we acquired
streamer resistivity data in a shallow brackish-water reservoir,
and obtained two dimensional (2D) resistivity sections by
inversion that included an explicit water layer. The resulting
model was compared with some exploratory drilling results for
further interpretation.
10.1071/EG08126

0812-3985/09/020206

A streamer resistivity survey

Theoretical considerations

Exploration Geophysics

0.1

(a)

207

Resolving power of streamer resistivity method


As mentioned above, streamer resistivity method using
dipoledipole array has very weak signal strength in extremely
conductive seawater environment, which makes depth of
investigation decrease and resolution become poor. Therefore,
it should be examined that the streamer resistivity method
with dipoledipole array can resolve sub-bottom sediments in
shallow marine environment. Using departure curve analysis,
Snyder et al. (2002) demonstrated that the true resistivity
of sub-bottom sediments could be estimated from dipole
dipole resistivity data if some conditions are satised. For the
sake of completeness, we will explain Snyders analysis
comprehensively in this section.
In order to conrm the applicability of streamer resistivity
survey using dipoledipole array in extremely conductive
seawater, we analysed departure curves computed for a
dipoledipole array deployed at the surface of a two-layered
earth, for n-spacings ranging from 1 to 8. Figure 1a and b show
sets of these curves computed for n = 1 and n = 6, respectively.
From Figure 1a, we can see that as water depth reaches the dipole
length, apparent resistivity converges to the resistivity of water
when n = 1. Apparent resistivity, however, becomes close to the
resistivity of lower layer if the water is very shallow compared to
the dipole length. For the case n = 6 in Figure 1b, apparent

10

10
rb /rt = 20

ra /rt

In marine resistivity surveys, we can use most of the electrode


arrays that can be used on land. Also, both oating and
underwater electrode systems are possible. A oating electrode
system is much cheaper and more convenient than an underwater
electrode system, whereas an underwater electrode system is
better in resolving power. Because the choice of electrode
array affects both depth of penetration and resolution, the
electrode array should be carefully chosen to get the desired
depth of investigation and resolution.
For resolution of horizontally layered structure, the Wenner
and Schlumberger arrays have been preferred. They are suitable
for depth sounding when expansion of the outer electrode spacing
over several decades is possible. To use the Schlumberger or
Wenner array in marine resistivity surveys, a reverse array should
be used, where the location of current and potential electrode pairs
is interchanged. For example, the reverse Schlumberger array
consists of one pair of current electrodes, located at the centre of
the array, and several pairs of potential electrodes symmetrically
arranged and logarithmically spaced (Graham, 2002). By
contrast, the dipoledipole array is more suitable for proling
because it is superior in horizontal resolution. The main purpose
of this survey is to rapidly get the 2D resistivity distribution of
the underlying sediments. Thus, proling and sounding should
be done simultaneously. We assumed that the thickness of sea
bottom sediments could show a great horizontal variation, and
that the resistivity of the sediments themselves may be not
homogeneous. In such a case, the dipoledipole array, having
better horizontal resolution, looks a better choice than the
Schlumberger or Wenner array. Thus we used a dipoledipole
array on the streamer cable.
However, the weak signal strength observed with a
dipoledipole array leads to shallow depth of penetration.
Moreover, the signal strength is much smaller in the marine
environment because of very conductive seawater, further
limiting penetration of current into the underlying sediments.
This is a main drawback of the dipoledipole array, especially in
shallow marine environment.

rb /rt = 10
rb /rt = 5
rb /rt = 3

1
0.1

h/a

0.1

(b)

1
1

rb /rt = 20
10

ra /rt

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Electrode congurations

10

rb /rt = 10
rb /rt = 5
rb /rt = 3

1
0.1

h/a

Fig. 1. Apparent resistivity curves normalised by the true resistivity of the


upper layer, for (a) n-spacing n = 1 (b) and n = 6, where a and h indicate the
dipole spacing and water depth, respectively. rt and rb correspond to
resistivity of the upper and lower layer, respectively.

resistivity approaches the resistivity of the lower layer when


the water is very shallow, while it seems difcult to nd the
resistivity of the lower layer when the water depth is larger than
the dipole length. In particular, apparent resistivity is more than
75% of the resistivity of the lower layer when the resistivity
contrast between the upper and lower layers is 35, for shallow
water depths.
Figure 2 shows departure curves computed for a dipoledipole
array deployed at the surface of a two-layered earth, for
n-spacings ranging from 1 to 8, when the resistivity ratio
between lower and upper layers is 4. Apparent resistivity
values approach the resistivity of the lower layer, regardless of
n-spacing, if the water depth is shallow. However, when the
depth to the lower layer is larger, apparent resistivity is close to
the resistivity of the upper layer when the n-spacing is small,
while it approaches the resistivity of the lower layer with an
increase of n-spacing.
From these analyses, we can conrm that the true resistivity of
sub-bottom sediments can be estimated from dipoledipole
resistivity sounding data when the water depth is less than half
a dipole length, and the resistivity contrast between seawater and
sediments is 35. Also, resistivity changes at a higher resistivity
contrasts are easily resolved at the larger n-spacing. In our survey
area, average resistivities of seawater and sediments are around
0.3 and 1.0 W.m, respectively. Also, the depth to sub-bottom

208

Exploration Geophysics

S.-H. Song and I.-K. Cho

0.1

(a)

Resistivity (.m)
0.0
0

0.5

1.0

1.5

True model

10

10

3
n=8
n=7
n=6
n=5

n=4

n=3

Depth (m)

ra /rt

20

20
Inversion considering water layer
Conventional inversion

30

30

40

40

n=2
n=1

0.1

h/a

1
50
0.0

Fig. 2. Apparent resistivity curves normalised by the true resistivity of the


upper layer for n-spacings ranging from 1 to 8, when the resistivity ratio of the
lower layer to the upper layer (rb/rt) is xed to 4.

sediments is less than 5 m, except in some extraordinarily deep


areas. Therefore, we can be assured that a dipoledipole resistivity
survey is able to provide sufcient information to determine the
1D resistivity distribution of sub-bottom sediments.
2D inversion considering a water layer
Although we found that the hydrogeological structure in the
marine environment could be analysed from the variation
trends of vertical sounding data obtained using a dipoledipole
array, we next examined whether a 2D inversion can provide a
plausible result that matches well the true model. For this, we
carried out conventional inversion with 2D resistivity data
synthesised from the results of 1D modelling for two- and
three-layered models. Figure 3 shows sets of resistivity
proles derived by 2D inversion for two- (Figure 3a) and
three-layer models (Figure 3b), respectively. It can be seen
that it is difcult to interpret the models quantitatively when
the inversion blocks are inconsistent with the water layer,
although the overall trend is consistent with the true model.
A conventional 2D inversion program will not allow us to
incorporate a water layer. Conventional inversion blocks or cells
do not match with the boundary between water and underlying
sediment layer, because the thickness of the inversion blocks is
set to increase with depth. Also, the size of inversion blocks is
not detailed enough to sufciently reect the topography of
the water bottom, and inversion blocks are always horizontal,
compared with the undulating water bottom topography.
Correspondingly, inversion error becomes larger in the case of
conventional inversion in a shallow marine environment with a
large topographical effect. To avoid this problem and get an
improved subsurface resistivity image, inversion considering an
explicitly dened water layer is necessary. The detailed
description of 2D inversion considering a water layer can be
found at Kim et al. (2002).
For comparison, we conducted both conventional inversion
without considering a water layer, and inversion including a water
layer. In the two-layer model shown in Figure 3a, the result of
inversion including water layer is more consistent with the true
model than that of conventional inversion. Although the inversion
result for the three-layer model shown in Figure 3b is somewhat
different from the true model, we can see that the result of
inversion including a water layer is more effective than the
conventional inversion method.

0.5

1.0

50
2.0

1.5

Resistivity (.m)

(b)
0.0
0

1.0

0.5

1.5

2.0

2.5

10

3.0
0

10

True model
Conventional inversion

Depth (m)

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2.0
0

20

20
Inversion considering water layer

30

30

40

40

50
0.0

0.5

1.0

1.5

2.0

50
3.0

2.5

Fig. 3. Resistivity proles obtained by 2D inversion for the data generated


from 1D modelling over (a) two- and (b) three-layer models.

Data acquisition system


A streamer resistivity survey requires various kinds of equipment
and operating systems such as the vessel, the streamer cable
with electrodes, multi-channel resistivity measuring equipment,
GPS, bathymetry measuring equipment, a portable electrical
conductivity meter, and data processing and interpretation
software. Figure 4 shows a block diagram of the streamer
resistivity system that we have deployed to conduct shallow
water resistivity surveys. The streamer resistivity system is

Navigation subsystem

Resistivity
measurement
subsystem

Data acquisition
subsystem

Antenna

GPS
receiver

Multi-channel
resistivity measuring
equipment

Bathymetry
receiver

Streamer cable with electrodes


M9

M8

M7

M6

M5

M4

M3

M2

M1

Echo sounder

Fig. 4. Block diagram of a streamer resistivity survey system for shallow


marine environments.

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A streamer resistivity survey

Exploration Geophysics

composed of four main sub-systems: navigation, data acquisition,


resistivity measurement, and streamer cable.
The navigation system consists of a differential GPS system,
which is interfaced with a digital echo sounder. This system stores
geographic position and water depth at 1-s intervals in the system
computer with the corresponding GPS time. In the resistivity
measurement sub-system, a multi-channel resistivity meter is
used to measure the potential difference data at six to eight
n-spacings simultaneously. The resistivity meter reads the
potential difference data periodically and stores it on the
system computer, with the time of the reading. From the times
recorded with the resistivity and navigation data, we can nd the
positions of each electrode installed on the streamer cable. The
streamer cable consists of an insulated multi-conductor cable,
which hosts 11 electrodes. The electrodes and buoys are
constructed at every 10 m along the cable. The two electrodes
closest to the boat are used as current electrodes and the others
as potential electrodes, as shown in Figure 4. The data acquisition
sub-system is a simple laptop computer to store both navigation
and resistivity data. Although the navigation and resistivity data
are stored in different data les, we can merge them easily during
post processing.
The minimum speed of the vessel used in our survey is ~3 kn
(1.5 m/s). The resistivity meter reads eight channels of potential
difference data every 7 s when the stacking number is set at 1. This
means that eight resistivity measurements are acquired at ~10 m
intervals. Thus we can acquire 34 km of resistivity data per an
hour, which is very rapid compared with a land survey.
Data processing
The rst step in data processing is to get apparent resistivity
values from the potential difference data. By assuming that
the streamer cable will follow the ships track, we calculated
the positions of the current and potential electrodes and the
corresponding apparent resistivity. Next, to obtain equally
spaced apparent resistivity data before performing the
inversion, the values should be interpolated and re-sampled
after projecting the values onto a straight survey line. This
process is done individually for each n-spacing. If we assume
that the number of apparent resistivity values is N, each apparent
resistivity is given by a function of the location of the electrodes
at each measuring time:
rna f rna1 ; rna2 ; . . . ; rnaN :

When performing a dipoledipole resistivity survey, the midpoint


between the current and potential dipoles may be used as the
plotting point for the associated apparent resistivity value. After
determining the plotting point for a particular n-spacing value, it
should be projected to a point on the straight survey line, by a
rotation of the coordinate system. If the Transverse Mercator
(TM) coordinates (x x0, y y0) are rotated counterclockwise
through an angle , we get the following relations between the
components resolved in the original TM coordinate system
(unprimed) and those resolved in the new rotated coordinate
system (primed) (Figure 5):


y  y0
;
2
tan1 1
x1  x0


x0
y0

cos sin
 sin cos




x  x0
:
y  y0

Although all of the apparent resistivity values are now projected


onto the straight survey line, they are not equally spaced, because

209

y y0

(x1, y1)

(x0, y0)

x x0

Fig. 5. Notation for the rotation of coordinate system calculations.

the vessel moves along a curved track and its speed is not constant.
For inversion, the apparent resistivity values should be resampled to be equally spaced. Through interpolation and resampling, apparent resistivity data that can be directly used for
inversion is produced.
It is very difcult to acquire data of a quality similar to
that achieved on land, because the stacking number should be
xed to one to minimise the measuring time, and the contact
between the electrodes and the water can be intermittently poor
due to the motion of the vessel, and waves. Moreover, it is
practically impossible to process and edit data by hand
because the amount of survey data is enormous. Thus, it is
necessary to use a data processing program that automatically
rejects unreliable data.
In dipoledipole resistivity surveys, as the n-spacing
increases, the potential difference measured generally
decreases, regardless of subsurface structures. However,
apparent resistivity values increase with increasing n-spacing
because the resistivity of reservoir water is very low and that of
sub-bottom sediments is relatively high. From this perspective,
during data processing, we rst eliminated apparent resistivity
values that decreased rapidly as the n-spacing increased. We
then rejected apparent resistivity values for which the ratio of n
to n + 1-spacing apparent resistivities was less than 0.60.8. The
processed data were then inverted to a subsurface resistivity
structure using a 2D algorithm based on nite element
modelling and Active Constraint Balancing (ACB) (Yi et al.,
2003).
Field application
Hydrogeological setting
The survey area is located within a brackish-water reservoir in a
coastal area of Korea. The construction of the reservoir
embankment was nished in 2007. According to the maritime
maps of 1982 and 1994, made before the dyke construction, the
topography of the sea oor in the study area region is almost at.
The sea oor inside the dyke, however, has got remarkably
shallower, with expanding tidal ats due to trapping by the
dyke of continuous sediment input from the rivers (Lee et al.,
2006). Figure 6 is a bathymetric map of the survey area. The total
area of this reservoir is ~401 km2 and water depth over much of
the reservoir ranges from 1 to 10 m. However, the water depth
near the embankment dyke, especially at the closing gap, reaches
~40 m because of erosion by the fast tidal current.
From the drilling data obtained at four representative drill
holes during the geological investigation, there are generally three

210

Exploration Geophysics

S.-H. Song and I.-K. Cho

262 000

261 000

259 000

258 000
270 000

257 000

265 000

260 000

255 000

256 000
250 000

245 000
150 000 155 000 160 000 165 000 170 000 175 000 180 000 185 000

255 000
153 000 154 000 155 000 156 000 157 000 158 000 159 000 160 000 161 000 162 000 163 000

Fig. 6. Location map of the study area, with water depth contours and four drill hole locations
shown. Dotted lines represent the dipoledipole resistivity survey lines, and the solid line with
arrows indicates the line of which the 2D inversion section is represented in Figure 10b.

hydrogeological layers. The hydrogeological sequence identied


in the study area is as follows: a silty sand layer, a sand layer, and a
mixed sand layer, as shown in Figure 7. The uppermost layer,
which constitutes most of the surface of the sediments, is a silty
sand layer generally classied as silt or silty loam according to the
USDA textural classication (USDI, 1974, see Figure 8). The
thickness of this silty sand layer ranges from 3.0 to 9.5 m. Below
the silty sand layer, a sand layer (sandy loam and loamy sand) is
encountered. The thickness of this layer is between 6.0 and
31.0 m. The bottom layer is a mixed layer, composed of silty
sand, ne sand, and coarse sand on top of bedrock, which is
intruded by volcanic rocks.

B2

B3

B4

B6

Silty sand layer

Physical properties of sediments


Soil samples obtained from drill cores from the four boreholes
were classied on the basis of the diameter of the individual
grains (Friedman and Sanders, 1978). Figure 9 shows the grain
size distribution curves for eight samples from the four boreholes,
with the depth of each sample indicated in the legend. Of the
three types of sediments that are shown in Figure 7, the silty sand
layer, with more than 60% of silt is found in samples B2 (4.5 m),
B4 (9.0 m), and B6 (1.5 m) in the upper part of the sequences. Fine
sand, with more than 80% of ne sand occurs in samples B2
(10.5 m), B3 (9.0 m), and B4 (25.5 m). Below the ne sand, the
mixed sand layer is encountered in samples B3 (31.5 m) and B6
(27.0 m).
The ability of a saturated subsurface formation to conduct
electrical current depends primarily on three factors: porosity,
connectivity of pores, and the specic conductivity of the water in
the pores (Telford et al., 1990). Pore water and its chemical

10

Depth below sediment surface (m)

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260 000

Sand layer
20

30

40

Mixed layer

Bedrock

50

Fig. 7. Simplied geological sections at four representative boreholes.

Fig. 8.

Classication of samples obtained from the silty sand and sand layer.

A streamer resistivity survey

Exploration Geophysics

sand layer and mixed sand layer resistivities range from 0.9 to
1.1 W.m and from 1.3 to 1.8 W.m, respectively.

100
B2(4.5m)
B2(10.5m)
B3(9.0m)
B3(31.5m)
B4(9.0m)
B4(25.5m)
B6(1.5m)
B6(27.0m)

Percent by weight

80
70
60
50

Streamer resistivity survey


Figure 10 shows the result of the streamer resistivity survey along
a segment within the 10th line among the 12 lines shown in
Figure 6. The segment is 1 km long, and the water depth along
the segment is around 5 m. For the automatic data rejection
mentioned in the previous section, the ratio of n to n + 1spacing apparent resistivity values is set to 0.65. Figure 10a
shows the apparent resistivity pseudo-section after editing.
Figure 10b indicates the inversion result, using the ACB
method to enhance the resolving power by controlling the
Lagrangian multiplier according to the subsurface model and
measured data (Yi et al., 2003). We can see that inversion with a
water layer is more reliable than conventional inversion. The
RMS error (9.8%) achieved by inversion with an explicit water
layer is smaller than that (12%) achieved by conventional
inversion.
Figure 11 shows an enlarged image of the boxed area in
Figure 10b, with the result of drill hole B3 (Figure 7) overlain.
Resistivities in the 2D inversion section range from 0.5 to
2.2 W.m, excluding overestimated interpolation results.
Comparing the inversion result with the drill log, we can see
that the inversion resistivity value at a depth of ~30 m near B3
ranges from 1.3 to 1.8 W.m, which corresponds to the resistivity
range for mixed sand as described in Table 1.

40
30
20
10
0
101

100

101

102

103

Grain size (mm)


Fig. 9. Grain size distribution curves at the four representative boreholes.

characteristics are especially dominant factors inuencing


the ow of the electric current because the formation materials
are in general resistant to electrical ow. To identify the
hydrogeological sequences from the resistivities obtained by
inversion, representative resistivities for each layer were
classied (Table 1). The measured resistivity values for
sediment samples vary from 1.1 to 1.8 W.m, which is ~four
times higher than the average resistivity of the reservoir water,
0.25 W.m. Comparing the measured resistivity from samples with
estimated resistivity from inversion, we can classify the soil
samples into three groups based on the resistivity ranges. The
silty sand layer resistivities range from 1.1 to 1.3 W.m. The ne

Spatial distribution of inversion results and drilling data

Table 1. Resistivities and their ranges for each material. Units are V.m.
Materials
Water
Silty sand
Fine sand
Mixed sand

Resistivity

Range

Remarks

0.25
1.2
1.0
1.5

0.20.3
1.11.3
0.91.1
1.31.8

Measured
EstimatedA
Measured
EstimatedA

To examine the spatial distribution of resistivity values with


depth, a kriging method was rst used. However, kriging
generally smoothes out local details of the spatial variation of
the attribute, with small values being overestimated and large
values being underestimated (Cressie, 1988). To construct a
contour map without smoothing effects, a variogram analysis
was conducted. Semivariogram (or, traditionally, variogram)
analysis is a tool used to analyse how data are spatially

Values of disturbed samples obtained from offshore.

(a)
0

100

50

0.31

0.50

0.69

500

0.88

150

200

250

300

350

400

450

500

1.1 (.m)

550

600

650

700

750

800

850

900

950

1000

450

500

(b)
100

50

150

200

250

300

350

400

0
10
Depth (m)

20
30
40
50

0.10 0.32

500

1.0

3.2

10 (.m)

550

600

650

700

750

800

850

900

950
0
10
20
30

Depth (m)

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90

211

40
50

Fig. 10. (a) Apparent resistivity pseudo-section and (b) inverted 2D resistivity section for the line shown in Figure 6. The box shows the region of detailed
analysis (Figure 11).

212

Exploration Geophysics

S.-H. Song and I.-K. Cho

B3
300
0

350

400

450

500

Depth (m)

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10
20
30
40
50
0.10 0.32 1.0

3.2

10 (.m)

Fig. 11. Enlarged image of the boxed area in Figure 10b overlain with the result of drilling at point B3
(as shown in Figure 7).

interconnected (Isaaks and Srivastava, 1989), and a


semivariogram describes the variance distribution in the data
that results from difference in relative location.
In the results of the semivariogram analysis, the nugget and
sill values were 45.9 and 91.8, respectively (Table 2), which
showed no signicant values comparing to the length of survey
lines. The small value of the nugget and sill parameters also
indicates that interconnection between the interpreted values is
quite high regardless of the locations of the survey lines.
However, the range parameter value of 8110 is too high, and
it can be predicted that inversion including water depth is more
reliable because the range parameter value tends to increase as
more and better data become available.
Figure 12 shows the contour map of the depth to the mixed
layer calculated with the semivariogram by using the
Table 2. Parameters of the semivariogram analysis using an
experimental model.
Layer
Mixed sand

Nugget

Sill

Range

R2

45.9

91.81

8,110

0.933

Exponential model which is generally combined with the


nugget effect. The area in which the depth to the mixed layer
is greater than 30 m is mainly located from centre to the left
(west) side of the study area and is generally deeper near the
embankment dyke. This trend matched well with the trend of
sea-bottom elevation shown in Figure 6. Depths from the four
drilling wells are nearly in accordance with the depth to mixed
layer. However, the depth to the mixed layer in the central part of
study area is less than 20 m, which also coincides with the trend
of sea bottom elevation.
Conclusions
Streamer resistivity surveys were conducted to evaluate their
applicability in a brackish-water reservoir on the west coast of
Korea.
From numerical tests, we conrm that the streamer resistivity
method using a dipoledipole array can give sufcient
information about sea-bottom sediments even when the
electrode array is on the water surface. Also, inversion with an
explicit water layer is more effective than conventional inversion,
because the inversion results for synthetic datasets obtained for

B2

262 000

B4
B6

261 000

260 000

259 000

258 000

257 000

B3
256 000
18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34
255 000
153 000

Depth (m)
154 000

155 000

156 000

157 000

158 000

159 000

160 000

161 000

162 000

163 000

Fig. 12. The contour map of depth to the top of the mixed layer showing the greatest depth from the centre to the
left side. Open circles with a cross indicate the location of drill holes.

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A streamer resistivity survey

Exploration Geophysics

two- and three-layer models matched better when a water layer is


included in the inversion procedure. In addition, we developed
data processing software for marine resistivity surveys. The
software automatically merges GPS locations, eight-channel
potential-difference data, and water depth proles from an
echo sounder. Then, apparent resistivity data are calculated
assuming a curved ship track. Moreover, the software
automatically rejects unreliable potential difference and
apparent resistivity data by assuming that potential difference
decreases and apparent resistivity increases as n-spacing
increases. Finally, the software produces an apparent
resistivity data le including water layer thickness values,
which can be used directly for inversion.
We constructed a data acquisition system for marine resistivity
surveying, consisting of an eight-channel resistivity meter, a GPS
receiver, and an echo sounder. Using the data acquisition system
and data processing software, we carried out streamer resistivity
surveys in a brackish-water reservoir. Then, we conducted 2D
inversion using the data obtained. The 2D inversion results
indicated that the resistivity ranges of measured materials
reasonably matched a simple stratigraphic column near drill
hole locations, and this was conrmed by the drilling data. In
addition, a contour map of the depth to the mixed layer was
constructed by using semivariogram analysis, and measured
resistivities for four columnar sections of drilling results were
compared with the estimated resistivities. From the contour map,
we are assured that this approach would be very useful to delineate
the resistivity structure of bottom sediments in a shallow brackishwater reservoir.
Acknowledgments
The research was partially supported by a grant (code number 3-3-3) from
Sustainable Water Resources Research Centre of 21st Century Frontier
Research Programs. The authors also thank the Ministry for Food,
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for nancial support, and are grateful
to Dr G. S. Lee, Miss M. K. Kang and Mr Y. I. Kim at the Rural Research
Institute for their assistance with data acquisition.

213

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Manuscript received 17 November 2008; revised manuscript received
29 December 2008.

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