Electromagnetic methods in geophysics
This report is made up of three sections. Technical aspects of the electromagnetic methodsused in geophysical studies, from DC to relatively high frequency, are presented in the firstsection. The most common methods are briefly introduced, namely electrical resistivity andinduced polarization, both magnetic and electromagnetic. It is clear from this chapter thatparticular techniques, including electromagnetic ones, are already being utilized in minedetection. Metal detectors, for example, operate on similar principles. It would also appear,even from a restricted study of the literature, that more attention is now being paid to inverseproblems. The results obtained when using these methods are more accurate, although thecomputation required is much greater.The inverse problems encountered in geophysics are briefly surveyed in the second section of the report. Among the wide variety of such problems are determination of earth structure,deconvolution of seismograms, location of earthquakes using the arrival times of waves,identification of trends and determination of sub-surface temperature distribution. These arepresented in the report in relation to the types of tools used to solve them. As a result, themethods are categorized as “deterministic” or “probabilistic”. The difference betweendeterministic and probabilistic methods is that in the former the parameters are unknown butnon-random, whereas in the latter they are treated as random variables and therefore have aprobability distribution. Probabilistic methods can be used even though there is no strictprobabilistic behaviour of the system. When probabilistic methods are applied, the problem isformulated on the basis of probability theory. The results obtained with this approach, usingcertain assumptions on the probabilities, coincide with the results obtained from thedeterministic approach. From the presentation of selected papers many other importantaspects of inverse problems can be also identified. Mathematically, the inverse problems arenon-linear and ill-posed. That it is why many different approaches to solving them havealready been put forward. One of the most common is the minimization of the squared normof the difference between the measured and the calculated boundary values such as voltages.Because of the ill-posed nature of the problem, the minimization has to be modified in orderto obtain a stable solution. This modification, known as regularization, is obtained byintroducing an additional term into the minimization so that the problem becomes well-posed.The solution of this new problem approximates to the required solution of the ordinaryproblem and, in addition, is more satisfactory than the ordinary solution. When the problem isregularized by the introduction of the additional term, prior information about the solution isincorporated. Very often the prior assumption about the solution sought is that the computedsolution should be smooth. The smoothness assumption is very often utilized in geophysicalstudies. It is, however, very general in nature and does not necessarily utilize the knownproperties of the solution. This has certain advantages because the same assumptions might bevalid for a wide range of situations. However, if a certain problem is considered, it wouldseem reasonable to use prior information that is effectively tailored for this particularsituation. Prior information that could be used in the reconstruction problem would be, forexample, knowledge of the internal structure of an object, such as the layered structure, thelimits of the resistivity values of the different interior structures, the correlation betweenresistivities and the geometric variability of the interior structures.The third section of the report contains a presentation of the papers published in recent issuesof geophysical journals or in conference proceedings which describe the direct application of “geophysical” methods to mine detection or topics which are, in our opinion, essential fromthis perspective.