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MAGNETOTELLURIC

GEOPHYSICAL
METHOD
DOMANTAY - FALCON - MAGHIRANG - RAMIREZ
What is Magnetotelluric Method?
The magnetotelluric (MT) method has evolved over the last several
decades as a versatile geophysical tool for both exploration and
regional studies. The technique employs the propagation of
extremely low frequency (10 -4-10 3Hz) natural
ELECTROMAGNETIC ENERGY from distant transient sources in the
ionosphere and magnetosphere.
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What does it detect?
Magnetotelluric method uses the existence of the natural earth
currents (telluric currents) in order to detect mineral deposits.
Telluric currents are naturally-occuring and are interrupted and
modified by natural electrical discontinuities like major geological
contacts, folds, faults, shear zones, etc. This method could DETECT
both conductive and nonconductive mineral deposits.
How does it work?
As it is an indirect form of surveying, it heavily relies on numerical
data gathered upon the process. With the right mix of signal
frequency (Hz) and the resistivity (𝝮 ∙ m) of the material being
studied, this method would be able to evaluate on depths of tens of
meters to depths of tens of kilometers. With the detected
frequencies paired with 3D geophysical inversion and 3D
geological models, possible mineral deposits could be detected.
Anomalies
The basic principle of magnetic survey is the anomalies in the
geomagnetic field resulting from the local magnetic field of
underlying magnetic rocks and minerals.

Common anomalies are due to intrusions of basic and ultrabasic


dykes, sills, lava flows, and magnetic orebodies.

Basic and Ultrabasic Igneous rocks are magnetic due to their high
content of magnetite.
What does it detect?

Magnetic survey, as stated in


its name, detects magnetic
rocks and minerals which are
mainly Basic and Ultrabasic
Igneous Rocks, and some
Metamorphic rocks with
magnetite.
Is it expensive? $
Compared to other geophysical methods, the MT method is relatively
INEXPENSIVE. Its setup also enables high portability and implores
benign environmental impact thus it is utilized by smaller mining
companies.
An MT station costs at around $ 1,738.83 or ₱92,723.11.
Usually, an MT survey which uses at least 10 stations lasts
at around 4 days, costing at around $ 17,388.30 or
₱927,231.10.
What are its advantages?
Its PORTABILITY, LOW ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
and MINIMAL COST are few of its strongest points.
Also, it is considered MORE EFFICIENT and
ACCURATE compared to other geophysical methods
of exploration. Due to its large depth penetration,
this method could detect both potential conductive
and nonconductive mineral deposits in a large area.

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What are its disadvantages?
One of the main disadvantages of this method lies
mainly after data gathering. It is true that it is less
expensive and done at a comparatively shorter time
but it requires EXPERTISE IN INTERPRETATION.
Also, visualization methods such as 2D and 3D
inversion and modeling could take longer. Lastly, as
it is a relatively new method, there are little to no
developments in the technique itself.

TIME
Overview:
● Magnetotelluric method utilizes the existence of naturally-
occuring telluric currents to detect geophysical features such
as faults and folds.
● It could detect both conductive and nonconductive mineral
deposits.
● This method is relatively cheaper and provides more efficient
results.
● Portability and its minimal environmental impact are few of its
strongest points.
● It requires expertise in data interpretation and visualization.
REFERENCES:
1. https://www.geologyforinvestors.com/exploration-using-telluric-currents-mt-and-
csamt/
2. https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/0-387-30752-4_93
3. Essentials of Mineral Exploration and Evaluation; DOI:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-805329-4.00012-0
4. http://www.cambridge.org/ae/files/6713/9643/1711/Online_appendix_04.pdf
5. https://openei.org/wiki/Magnetotellurics
6. https://orkustofnun.is/gogn/unu-gtp-sc/UNU-GTP-SC-11-24b.pdf
7. Page 81, Chapter 5 of Mineral Exploration