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ELECTRICAL RESISTIVITY TESTS ON ROCKS
ROLE IN CHOSING A SITE FOR CONSTRUCTING ELECRICAL ESTABLISHMENTS
The project deals with geophysical considerations in determining a site suitable for setting electrical power establishments in any area inside or outside the mine. There is also a focus on the layout of power cables in the sub-surface foundations. Electrical resistivity tests were conducted for determining the specific electrical properties of different types of rock strata. The study also considers the effect of other parameters like porosity, confinement, magnetic behavior, thermal resistivity and geological anomalies. Each and every electrical establishment takes into consideration the Earthing requirement for the safety of human beings, animals, consumer property and utilities equipment. Primary Rocks that have low resistivity free fron joints and cracks are normally most suitable for making the foundation of any establishment. Presence of water reduces the earthing effect and also weakens the strata and wearing down the performance of underground power cable network by corrosion .
. This fact is the basis for geophysical testing methods which measure resistivity to evaluate the properties of subsurface mineral deposits. In most rock materials. Some electrical methods. Metallic minerals are relatively good conductors of electricity. creating an artificial electrical field in which charges in the electrical current between electrode can be measured. introduce electricity into the ground. but are occasionally used for applications at greater depths. and it is the very presence of these waters which makes electrical prospecting methods possible. called active methods. Electrical methods can be used either on the surface or down drill holes. which develop due to the electrochemical action between minerals and pore fluids. These methods are most useful at shallow depths (<500 feet).INTRODUCTION Our earth is made up of numerous layers of rocks which may be metallic or non metallic. Where the pore waters contain salts (such as sodium chloride) in solution. Metallic sulfide minerals or graphite are the most efficient mineral conductors. the methods work especially well. Passive methods measure current flow related to naturally occurring electrical currents. Clay minerals containing only a slight amount of moisture are also easily ionized. the amount of porosity and the chemistry of pore waters have a greater influence on conductivity than do metallic mineral grains. whereas most of the common rock forming minerals are generally poor conductors. These methods measure the electric potentials. Pore waters contained in underground formations also conduct electricity very well.
causing variations from the predicted values. can then be mapped out to try to locate buried ore deposits. current flows from one electrode to the other. In order to measure the amount of resistance of the rock we must specify two other factors. or anomalies. I is the current (in amps). and R is the resistance (in ohms).When two electrodes are placed in the ground and voltage is applied across them. including the length and . the electron flow lines are perpendicular to the lines along which the potential is constant. These variations. the relationship between resistance and current are expressed mathematically by Ohm s Law: V=IR where V is the voltage ( in volts). At a constant voltage. In a homogenous conductor. Zones of abnormally high or abnormally low conductivity cause the current flow lines to become distorted. The amount of resistance is a function of the composition and physical condition of the rock. Geometry of current flow lines and equipotential lines in a vertical section below the surface for voltage generated at stations A and B Conductivity and resistivity are inversely related: high conductivity equates to low resistivity.
Hence the value of the earth resistance in the interlinked state which is called combined earth value which will be much lower than the individual value. The formula for resistivity is: r = (R)(S) / l where r is the resistivity (in ohm-meters). Substation involves many Earthings through individual electrodes. changes in resistivity with depth can be plotted. the amount of resistance is referred to as the resistivity . Earthing System in a Sub Station comprises of Earth Mat or Grid. .cross-sectional area of the region where the electrical current is being conducted. S is the unit area of the cylinder cross-section. and l is the unit length of the cylinder. Earth mat or Grid Primary requirement of Earthing is to have a low earth resistance. But if these individual electrodes are inter linked inside the soil. In this manner. When these factors are specified. several different pairs of electrodes are set up at different spacings. As the spacing between the electrode pairs increases. which will have fairly high resistance. it increases the area in contact with soil and creates number of parallel paths. the detection depth increases. In practice. Earth Electrode. This information can be used to pinpoint zones which have strong resistivity contrasts. This sequential testing technique also detects lateral changes in resistivity along the survey line. Earthing Conductor and Earth Connectors. specifically the region of a cylinder where the current is passed.
To achieve the primary requirement of Earthing system. g. Soil Resistivity Resistivitiy of Surface Material Shock Duration Material of Conductor Earthing Mat Geometry . The factors which influence the Earth Mat design are a. the Earth Mat should be design properly by considering the safe limit of Step Potential. It keeps the surface of substation equipment as nearly as absolute earth potential as possible. d.The inter link is made through flat or rod conductor which is called as Earth Mat or Grid. f. Touch Potential and Transfer Potential. Duration of Fault c.which is the potential difference available between the legs while standing on the ground. Touch potential . e.which is the potential difference between the leg and the hand touching the equipment in operation. Step potential . Magnitude of Fault Current b.
Contours of data obtained are plotted on plan of the area to chalk out the layout of cables and the best possible site for setting up sub stations and transmission or distribution towers. Dips of 30* or more can be accommodated with little loss of precision if the azimuth of the electrode expansion is parallel to the strike. periodic program of earth resistance testing to find out long term suitability of any site. Rocks of different petrology are tested to develop a database of igneous. sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. Although each sounding is interpreted assuming the subsurface layers are horizontal. In locations where the water table i s gradually falling. . We also aim to find the suitable rock or soil mixture that can be mixed with synthetics to provide the adequate resistance as per our needs and use in foundation of electrical establishments. The data is studied along with data obtained from electrical imaging and other geophysical techniques.OBJECTIVE We perform tests on several core lengths of rock samples under different moisture and joint conditions. we may have dry earth with high resistance. the results are combined to produce a geo electrical section showing the variation of bedrock along the profile line. These factors emphasize the importance of a continuous.
and the correct choice may be critical to the success of the survey. Constant separation traversing. and the field procedures are relatively straightforward and inexpensive. 1. In the laboratory. There is.LITERATURE SURVEY METHODS TO CARRY OUT RESISTIVITY SURVEY Electrical resistivity methods are the most important of the geophysical methods that can be used for the mapping of water-filled fracture zones. In this technique. the spacing between electrodes is . 2. is used to examine lateral changes in the geological structure. electrical depth probing or electrical drilling) is a technique used to examine the vertical change in resistivity. we have the 3 pole and the 4 pole tests to measure the voltage and current readings which are used to calculate the resistance of the core samples. These traversing techniques are popular in archaeological surveys but have largely been superseded by electromagnetic traversing methods for deeper investigations. in which the electrode spacing is kept constant and all the electrodes are moved laterally between measurements. however. Three survey techniques have been developed for different applications. a wide variety of equipment and field procedures. because the measurements are sensitive to changes in moisture content. Vertical Electrical Sounding (VES.
it should be possible to identify the area of interest. 3. As the in-situ calibration is of great importance in the interpretation of the readings obtained. which involves a combination of both traversing and sounding. calibration settings should be recorded so that they can be exactly reproduced. From such a large map of the conductivity distribution in the sub surface. TEST LOCATIONS Test locations are dictated by engineering objectives. the structure can be tested rapidly. the surface of the structure remains unmarked. the non-harmful nature of the radiation and the continuous emission and receptivity of electromagnetic fields.progressively increased between measurements. however an attempt should be made to measure the variation in material quality or condition throughout the largest possible volume of the structure typically that with a face area of3m x 3m minimum. In this case the data may be interpreted quantitatively to provide resistivities and thicknesses of subsurface layers. safely and without disruption of other activities. As the electrode spacing increases. Electrical imaging is a recent development. Thus measurements taken on different dates can be . it is recommended that. while the centre of the whole array is kept constant. the current penetrates to greater depths and so a plot of apparent resistivity against electrode spacing provides a picture of the variation of resistivity with depth. to produce an image along a section through the subsurface. if conductivity surveys have to be repeated over a period of time. As a result of the portability of the instrument. Since no coupling or contact with the surface of the structure is required.
the operating mode of use of the equipment itself.compared for structural condition monitoring.the accuracy and resolution required in the evaluation. . . The number of readings required is dependent upon: .upon the instrument used. It is normal procedure to test the structure along survey lines either longitudinally or vertically. thus a series of traverse or reading stations should be marked out for investigation. .
together with the primary field. by the receiver coil. It should be noted that the results are averaged over the depth of penetration.PRINCIPLE OF TEST The application of this electromagnetic technique for measuring conductivity involves the use of a transmitter coil energised with an alternating current and a receiver coil located a short distance away. This secondary field is a function of the inter coil spacing. The conductivity equipment permits the measurement of near surface average conductivity. stations will have to be marked on the traverses. If the meter is to be operated in automatic mode. at regular intervals related to the intercoil spacing. The time-varying magnetic field arising from the current induces very small currents in the structure. If the meter is operated in manual mode. . PROCEDURE The procedure will involve marking out the masonry wall in traverses either horizontally or vertically. the operating frequency and the conductivity of the materials. The lateral extent of the volume whose conductivity is sensed by the meter is approximately the same as the vertical depth. Minimum recommended spacing between reading stations is equal to the spacing between transmitter and receiver on the meter. and reveals the presence of a conductor and provides information on its geometry and electrical properties. These currents generate a secondary magnetic field which is sensed. readings will be collected continuously along the survey lines. A denser grid of reading points will give a better resolution in the final contour map.
3-D RESISTIVITY MEASUREMENTS CHARACTERISING TAR CONTAMINATE WASTE DEPOSITS .
is supported by the low water yields of existing . Geophysical investigation was proposed for an area of low ground to the east of Mochudi village.W. with the same trend. 1). which was expected to consist almost entirely of Basement Complex rocks overlain by alluvial deposits. such as fault zones and major joint systems. The importance of careful location of boreholes.E. The available geological maps for this area indicate an escarpment of sandstones. Mochudi village is approximately fifty-eight kilometres to the north-west of Gaborone in southern Botswana.-S. (Fig. were traced. Aerial photographs and topographic maps of the Mochudi. (Fig. with a N.E. are known to occur within the Basement rocks. trending valleys through the Waterberg escarpment. from aerial photographs. 1).STUDY OF GEOPHYSICAL MAPPING IN MOCHUDI. but only isolated outcrops in a highly decomposed state have been mapped in this area. area were studied for evidence of linear structural features. The 5 ft contour interval of the Mochudi 1 : 6000 plan was particularly useful in this respect and clearly indicated a series of N. BOTSWANA A feasibility study for improvement of the water supply to villages in the Republic of Botswana incorporated geophysical surveys in the Mochudi area.-S. Major faults. trend are shown through both series. in this type of geological environment. overlying unconformably the granites and granitic gneiss of the Basement Complex. through the adjacent upland areas. grits and conglomerates of the Lower Waterberg Series. Dykes of basic composition. up to several hundred metres in thickness.W. Major linear structural features.
was close to the expected trend of geological structures. in the Central and Eastern Mochudi areas. in each case. The azimuth of the survey line. ELECTRICAL RESISTIVITY MAPPING The first two days of the geophysical survey were spent in carrying out electrical resistivity depth soundings at seven existing borehole site.H. A low frequency alternating current resistivity meter was used for all resistance measurements. Many more holes were bored between 1957 and 1974. If geophysical methods were used to site these holes. magnetic anomalies. was carried out in 1974 to establish a strategy for the siting of new boreholes. Out of six holes bored in the Mochudi area in 1956/57. such as B. particularly the speed and simplicity of the field procedures.boreholes in this area. and the yields were again very variable. The field curves were matched with theoretical curves to provide the thickness and actual resistivity of each layer. and this equipment proved to be satisfactory for current electrode separations up to the maximum required distance of 400 m. . the success rate was far less than is usual for geophysically located holes in this type of environment. In each case the Schlumberger configuration of electrodes was used because of its advantages over alternative configurations. A geophysical survey. A summary of the results obtained is shown in Table 1 along with the water yields from the boreholes. The successful boreholes. or more. or near. in order to minimise the effect of lateral variations in ground resistivity. utilising electrical resistivity and magnetic methods. were apparently sited on. three were regarded as failures and three yielded 45 I/m. 38 at Mabodisa.
3 7.3 0.2 0.54 0.2 40 4.4 0. to be designed to locate zones of deep weathering. Some of the curves were very irregular for the larger current electrode separations. because of the presence of water-filled fractures within the unweathered crystalline rocks. High water yields were obtained from areas of both shallow and deep weathering.4 0.5 13 5 10 Resistivity of second layer (ohmm) 4 22 4 21 40 70 0-100 Resistivity of third layer (ohmm) 1000 410 400+ 225 200 210-400 200+ Basically a three layer resistivity model was obtained in each case. therfore. in the former case water being obtained from fractures in otherwise unweathered rocks. Continuous electrical resistivity traversing along parallel N-S lines across the area of interest was adopted rather than a large number of electrical resistivity depthsoundings on a grid pattern. The first and third layers have relatively high resistivity values.TABLE 1 Borehole no.13 805 2720 1036 1668 1632 2108 2098 227 189 91 57 25 19 15 Resistivity of surface layer (ohmm) 40 300 101 45 60 100 2500 Thickness of second layer(m) 3.5 0. The intermediate layer of low resistivity represents decomposed crystalline rocks with a high moisture content. Water yield (l/m) Thickness of surface layer (m) 0. The low yield boreholes are characterised by a generally higher resistivity level for the intermediate layer. as well as water-filled fracture zones. related respectively to the superficial deposits and Basement Complex rocks. The large scale electrical resistivity mapping procedures had. The Wenner configuratrion was used for all .
It is the zones of low resistivity that are of particular interest. the current electrode spacing of 30 m. 720. and these were further investigated. there are several obvious elongated anomalies across the area with a N.H. primarily to simplify the field procedures. Apparent resistivity values have been plotted for each resistivity station to enable the amplitude of each anomaly to be determined. only the 100 ohm-m contours have been drawn. although high gradients may indicate faulted margins between rock types of different resistivity. whereas other high yielding boreholes. An isoresistivity map has been prepared from these resistivity traversing data (Fig. such as B.-S. that are well away from existing boreholes. where the resistivity gradients and anomalies are large. Although there is belt of low resistivity associated with the Notwani River. for clarity. as indicated by the electrical resistivity depth sounding. trend. . particularly where. are located in areas of anomalously low resistivity. contour lines have been omitted. are in areas of relatively high resistivity. 1668 and B.E. 1632. and the station interval of 30 m. Fortunately. also proved to be satisfactory for the location of the major fracture zones. The high yielding borehole in the north of the area (B. such as B. 2).H.38) appears to be located on a fault between Waterberg and Basement Complex rocks.H.traverses.H.850 and B. Significant areas of low or high resistivity have been indicated on this map by appropriate symbols. The low yield boreholes.H. although it was recognized that narrow vertical fracture zones might be missed. which were chosen to investigate variations in the depth of weathering. The contour interval is 10 ohmm for most of the map but.W. Several other areas of anomalously low electrical resistivity were identified.
Fig 2 Isoresistivity map of area .
At Mochudi. several sites were selected and subsequently drilled with considerable success. this approach. but this is a reflection of the lack of recharge to the water-filled fractures at this particular location. .CONCLUSIONS The effect of water in fractured zones can be effectively studied using electrical resistivity tests. Lower yields were recorded for the borehole at Site C. Water yields of 420 l/m and 250 I/m at Sites A and B respectively justify.
particularly where basic igneous rocks or basement rocks are involved. Probably the most cost-effective means of locating near-vertical fracture and fissure zones is by electromagnetic profiling. if care is taken to orientate the soundings parallel to the fault. and it is this. it can usually be traced through mapping the positions of the dykes magnetically. Figure 3: Electrical image across a near-vertical fault between low resistivity Mercia mudstones and high resistivity Sherwood Sandstone . which is identified on the traverse. If it is only the location of the fault line that is required. Magnetic and gravity methods are usually restricted to the investigation of major faults. The fractures and associated weathering reduce the resistivity of the host rock. especially when it occurs near the surface. Resistivity soundings can also be employed to measure the throw of a fault.LOCATION OF FAULTS BY RESISTIVITY TESTS Recent application of electrical imaging has proved successful in the location of faults where there is a good resistivity contrast (Figure 3). although less accurately. Where the fault cuts basic igneous dykes. electromagnetic (particularly ground conductivity) surveys are a cost-effective means of mapping the fault.
Data points fell on a concave downward path. probably due to surface conductance of clay minerals. higher saturation exponents were obtained for the sideritic samples. Measurements under overburden conditions revealed higher cementation factors and saturation exponents. However. and decreased as confining pressure was decreased. Results indicated that confining pressure significantly affect the electrical parameters. The Archie cementation factor was found to be independent of the degree of cementation for the studied samples.STUDY OF EFFECT OF CONFINING PRESSURE ON ELECTRICAL RESISTIVITIES OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF SANDSTONE CORE SAMPLES Electrical measurements of sandstone cores were conducted under both laboratory simulating overburden conditions. Resistivities of five sandstone samples. The formation resistivity factor increased as confining pressure was increased. fully saturated with brine. The mean cementation factor was 1.343. were measured while increasing confining pressure stepwise from 250 to 2300 psi and then decreased back to 250 psi. The laboratory conditions cementation factors and saturation exponents were lower than the general values cited in the literature. water saturation log-log plots.144. Results .619 and a mean saturation exponent of 1. Measurements under laboratory conditions revealed a mean Archie cementation factor of 1. Laboratory conditions measurements revealed a non-linear trend of data points on resistivity index vs. Lower cementation factors were obtained for the well cemented and consolidated sideritic samples than for poorly consolidated samples.851 and the mean saturation exponent was 2.
The changes in mean formation and cementation factors were 45% and 13.9%. The increase in relative formation factor was higher for low porosity samples than for highly porous samples. Comparison of water saturations obtained using laboratory and overburden conditions electrical parameters indicated that a fully water saturated sample appears to be oil bearing if laboratory conditions electrical parameters are used instead of overburden electrical parameters.9% and 71. The mean formation factor increased 9. the error is between 27. The electrical parameters obtained under laboratory conditions underestimate water saturation calculations. The confining pressure was most effective on resistivity between 0 and 500 psi.showed hysteresis between loading and unloading stages. The formation factors and the cementation exponents at laboratory conditions and overburden conditions were tested using different equipment.8%. respectively. For a 15% porosity sample. depending on the water content of the sample. The error is more significant in oil zones as water saturation decreases.8% and 61% for a 30% porosity sample.1% when confining pressure was increased from 250 to 2300 psi in the same measurement system. These changes are between the parameters obtained from two different methods. The error is between 18. The error also increases as the sample porosity decreases .
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The resistivities of various rock as obtained from the resistivity test are as under.000 0.01 0.000 500 ± 10. the resistivity changes dramatically as the frequency varies.001 ± 0.000 Sandstone 200 ± 8.000 (ohm meters) Clay 1 ± 100 Graphitic Schist 10 ± 500 Topsoil 50 ± 100 Gravel 100 ± 600 Weathered Bedrock 100 ± 1000 Gabbro 100 ± 500. normal values for common rocks and minerals are fairly well established (Table below).001 ± 100 0.000 200 ± 100. Normally. Although the range of resistivities for rocks and minerals is quite large.000 Granite Basalt Limestone Slate Quartzite Greenstone . resistivity does not vary as the frequency is varied.001 ± 10. Common Rocks/Materials Resistivity Ore Minerals Resistivity (ohm meters) Pyrrhotite Galena Cassiterite Chalcopyrite Pyrite Magnetite Hematite 0.000.000 500 ± 500.005 ± 0.000 1000 ± 1.01 ± 1.000. However.000 500 ± 200.1 0.01 ± 100 0.000 0.000 500 ± 800.000 . 200 ± Sphalerite 100.01 ± 1. if native metals or other metallic minerals are present.
The minerals in the sand and silt fractions of the soil are electrically neutral and are generally excellent insulators. native metals and graphite are present. The electrical conductivity of the material is thus primarily controlled by the particle size. the conductivity over the normal range of ambient temperature may double. The temperature dependence of the electrical conductivity of the electrolyte is almost entirely due to the temperature dependence of the viscosity of the liquid and a change in conductivity of 2. The following are the methods to lower the earth .Most soil and rock minerals forming building materials are insulators and conduction through the rock matrix only takes place when certain clay materials. Measurements made on material as a function of the moisture content by weight. The solutions of salts in pore water will substantiallyincrease the material conductivity. show a conductivity that increases approximately as the square of the moisture content. the amount of water present in the pores and by the conductivity of the pore fluid. The general trend is that conductivity will increase with reducing particle size.2% per degree may be expected. increasing moisture content and increasing salt content. This phenomenon implies that for high seasonal changes of temperature.
The sandstone beds can be used after a certain depth below a hard non porous rock.resistance: 1. Treatment of soil using bentonite powder.Use of suitable additive can be done to suitably modify the resistivity. Using multiple rods for earthing In general. Porous rocks containing water may cause hindrance in earthing and thus safe workings.we must go with hard igneous rock foundation of granite rocks as they are impervious and hard in strength.fly ash 2. Lengthening the earth electrode used in establishment 3. .
REFERENCES MCDOWELL P W. NEW YORK. GEOPHYSICAL MAPPING OF WATER FILLED FRACTURE ZONES IN ROCKS . BARKER R D. 'GEOPHYSICAL EXPLORATION'.. P. CH. AND BROOKS. MACLEAN AMABEOKU. C.ENGINEERING GEOLOGY SPECIAL PUBLICATIONS.1996.Y. A. LONDON MATERIALS AND STRUCTURES/MATERIAUX ET CONSTRUCTIONS. HEILAND.. NEW YORK. 'ELECTRICAL METHODS IN GEOPHYSICAL PROSPECTING'. M. 1. IEEE (1992) GUIDE FOR SOIL THERMAL RESISTIVITY MEASUREMENTS. 1991 EARTHING PRACTICES IN SUB STATIONS. VOL. T & SS TRAINING CENTRE. INC. OF ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONICS ENGINEERS. ALASKA KEAREY.MADURAI SALIH SANER .IN-SITU AND NON-DESTRUCTIVE TEST PROPOSED TEST METHOD. AND FRISCHKNECHT. 34. C.. 1968 LAB EXERCISE MANUAL OF DMTC. FORMATION RESISTIVITY RESPONSE TO LOADING AND UNLOADING CONFINING PRESSURE . BULLETIN OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ENGINEERING GEOLOGY DE I'ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONALE DE GEOLOGIE DE L'INGENIEUR N*19 258 --264 KREFELD 1979. G. ~GEOPHYSICS IN ENGINEERING INVESTIGATIONS (2002) GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY. MIMOUNE KISSAMI. BUTCHER A P. CULSHAW M G . OXFORD. V. 1966. PERGAMON PRESS. N. F. INST. APRIL 2001. 'AN INTRODUCTION TO GEOPHYSICAL EXPLORATION'.. HAFNER PUBLISHING CO. KELLER.
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