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AREA EMCS
DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release;
distribution is unlimited.
IEEE
Std 81-1983
(Revision of IEEE
Std 81-1962)

IEEE Guide for Measuring


Earth Resistivity, Ground Impedance, and
Earth Surface Potentials of a Ground System

Sponsor

Power System Instrumentation and Measurements Committee


o£ the
IEEE Power Engineering Society

O Copyright 1983 by

The Institute o£ Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc


345 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017
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Foreword

(This Foreword is not a part of IEEE Std 81-1983, IEEE Guide for Measuring Earth Resistivity, Ground Impedance,
and Earth Surface Potentials of a Ground System.)
In order to increase its practica1 usefulness, this guide has been divided into two parts. Part 1,
Normal Measurements, covers the majority of field measurements which do not require special
high-precision equipment and measuring techniques, and which do not encounter unusual diffi-
culties such as may be found with extensive grounding systems, abnormally high stray ac or dc
currents, etc. Part 1 has been extensively revised and updated. Part 11, Special Measurements, is to
be completed in the future. This part is intended to describe the methods of measurements appli-
cable when unusual difficulties make normal measurements either impractical or inaccurate. Very
large power station ground grids and counterpoises of transmission lines are examples of such
grounding systems.
This guide was prepared by the Earth Resistivity, Ground Impedance, and Earth Surface Potential
Measurement Working Group of the RLC Subcommittee, Power System Instiumentation and
Measurements Committee. The working group's members at the time the guide was prepared were:
D. Mukhedkar, Chairman F. Dawalibi, Secretary
G. Y. R. Allen W. G. Finney A. C. Legates
M. J. Anna J . L. ~ a y e s t R. Malewski
E. B. ~ u r d t s ? R. Hall H. C. Ramberg
R. D, Crosier R. J. Heh B. Stanleigh
W. K. Dick J. F. Laidig F. P. Zupa

W. J. Lyon Liaison member with IEEE Std 80-1976.


W. K. Switzer Liaison with Substations Committee.

When the IEEE Standards Board approved this standard on September 17, 1981, it had the fol-
lowing membership:
1. N. Howell, Jr, Chairman Irving Kolodny, Vice Chairman
Sava 1. Sherr, Secretary
G. Y. R. Allen Jay Forster F. Rosa
J. J. Archambault Kurt Greene R. W. Seelbach
J. H. Beall Loering M. Johnson J. S. Stewart
J. T. Boettger Joseph L. Koepfinger W. E. Vannah
Edward Chelotti J. E. May Virginius N. Vaughan, Jr
Edward J. Cohen Donald T. Michael* Art Wall
Len S. Corey J. P. Riganati Robert E. Weiler
*Member ementus
Contents

SECTION PAGE
Part 1 Normal Measurements
1. Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2. Scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
3. Objectives of Tests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
4. Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
5. Safety Precautions While Making Ground Tests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
5.1 Station Ground Tests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
5.2 Surge-Arrester Ground Tests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
5.3 Small Isolated Ground Tests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
6 . General Considerations on the Problems Related to Measurements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 0
6.1 Complexities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 0
6.2 Test Electrodes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 0
6.3 Stray Direct Currents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
6.4 Stray Alternating Cuments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
6.5 Reactive Component of Impedance of a Large Grounding System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
6.6 Coupling Between Test Leads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
6.7 Buried Metallic Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
7 . Earth Resistivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2
7.1 General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2
7.2 Methods of Measuring Earth Resistivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 3
7.2.1 Geological Information and Soil Samples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
7.2.2 Variation of Depth Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 4
7.2.3 Two-Point Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 4
7.2.4 Four-Point Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 4
7.3 Interpretation of Measurements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 5
7.3.1 Geological Information and Soil Samples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 5
7.3.2 Variation-of-Depth Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 5
7.3.3 Two-Point Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 6
7.3.4 Four-Point Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 6
7.4 Instrumentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
7.4.1 Two-Point Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 7
7.4.2 Four-Point or Variation-of-Depth Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 7
8 . GroundImpedance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
8.1 General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
8.1.1 Characteristics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 8
8.1.2 Theoretical Value of Ground Resistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
8.2 Methods of Measuring Ground Impedance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 9
8.2.1 General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 9
8.2.1.1 Two-Point Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 9
8.2.1.2 Three-Point Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 9
8.2.1.3 Ratio Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 9
8.2.1.4 Staged-Fault Tests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 9
8.2.1.5 Fall-of-Potential Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
8.2.1.6 Interpretation of the Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
8.3 Testing the Integrity of the Ground Grid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
8.4 Instrumentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
9 . Earth.Potential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
9.1 Equipotential Lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
SECTION PAGE
9.2 Potential Contour Surveys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
9.3 Step and Touch Voltages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
1 0. Transient Impedance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
10.1 Transient Impedance of Ground Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
10.1.1 General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
10.1.2 Measurements of the Transient Impedance of Ground Systems . . . . . . . . . . . 27
10.1.3 Instrumentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
11. ModelTests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
11.1 Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
11.2 Similarity Criteria and Lirnitations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
11.3 Instrumentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
11.4 Resistance Measurements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
11.5 Potential Measurements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
11.6 Interpretation of Measurements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
1 2. Instrumentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
12.1 Ratio Ohmmeter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
12.2 Double-Balance Bridge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
12.3 Single-Balance Transformer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
12.4 Ammeter-Voltmeter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
12.5 Induced Polarization Units . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
12.5.1 Transmitter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
12.5.2 Receiver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
12.5.3 Main Advantages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
12.6 High-Frequency Earth Resistance Meter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
1 3. Practical Aspects of Measurements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
13.1 Selection of Auxiliary Electrodes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
13.2 Selection of Test Leads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
13.3 Selection of Auxiliary Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
13.3.1 Hammers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
13.3.2 Distance Measurements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
13.3.3 Lead Reels and Mobile Cart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
13.4 Testing Precautions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
13.5 Large Substations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

FIGURES
Fig 1 Earth Resistivity Variations (a) Salt (b) Moisture (c) Temperature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Fig 2 Typical Resistivity Curve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Fig 3 Four-Point Method (a) Equally Spaced (b) Unequally Spaced . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Fig 4 Variation of Depth Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Fig 5 l ean Earth Resistivity Interpretation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
~ x a ' m ~of 17
Fig 6 Fall-of-Potential Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Fig 7 Apparent Resistance for Various Spacings x . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Fig 8 Case of a High-Impedance Ground System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Fig 9 Case of a Low-Impedance Ground System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Fig 1 0 Required Potential Electrode Position in a Two-Layer Earth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Fig 11 Step and Touch Voltages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Fig 1 2 Measuring Circuit for Recording the Transient xmpedance of Driven Grounds . . . . . . . . . 28
Fig 1 3 Electrolytic Tank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Fig 1 4 Ratio Ohmmeter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Fig 1 5 Double-Balance Bridge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Fig16 Single-Balance Transformer ..........7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
FIGURES PAGE
Fig 1 7 Selective-Frequency Voltmeter-Ammeter Circuit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Fig 18 Induced Polarization Units . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Fig 1 9 High-Frequency Meter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Fig 20 Chuck and Sliding Hammer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Fig2l TestTable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36

TABLE
Table 1 Geological Period and Formation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
APPENDIXES
Appendix A Nonuniform Soils . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Appendix B Determination of an Earth Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Appendix C Theory of the Fall-of-Potential Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39
Appendix D Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

APPENDIX FIGURES
Fig A l Two-Layer Earth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Fig C1 Fall-of-Potential Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
IEEE Guide for Measuring
Earth Resistivity,Ground Impedance, and
Earth Swface Potentials of a Ground System
Part 1 Normal Measurements

1. Purpose and impulse currents (for measuring transient


impedances). This guide does not propose t o
1.1 I t is the purpose of this guide t o describe cover al1 possible test signals and test methods.
and discuss the present state of the technique
of measuring ground resistance and impedance, 2.3 Extreme precision is not always possible
earth resistivity, potential gradients from cur- because of the many variables encountered;
rents in the earth, and the prediction of the therefore, the measurements should be care-
magnitudes of ground resistance and potential fully made by the most suitable method avail-
gradients from scale model tests. Factors in- able, with a thorough understanding of the
fluencing the choice of instruments and the possible sources of error.
techniques for various types of measuiements
are covered. These include the purpose of the 3. Objectives of Tests
measurement, the accuracy required, the type
of instruments available, possible sources of 3.1 Measurements of ground resistance or
error, and the nature of the ground or ground-
- impedance and potential gradients on the
ing system under test. surface of the earth due to ground currents
are necessary to:
1.2 The guide is intended t o assist the engineer (1) Verify the adequacy of a new grounding
or technician in obtaining and interpreting system
accurate, reliable data. I t describes test proce- (2) Detect changes in an existing grounding
dures which promote the safety of personnel system
and property, and prevent interference with (3) Determine hazardous step and touch
the operation of neighboring facilities. voltages
(4) Determine ground potential rise (GPR) in
order t o design protection for power and com-
2. Scope munication circuits.
2.1 The testing methods covered in this guide 3.2 Scale-model tests are useful in studying or
include : developing new designs for grounding systems
(1) The measurement of the resistance and which cannot be adequately studied by analyt-
impedance t o earth of electrodes varying from ical methods (complex shape or complex soil
small rods and plates to large grounding sys- structure) .
tems of stations.
(2) Ground potential surveys, including the 3.3 Earth resistivity measurements are useful
measurement of step and touch voltages, and for:
potential contour surveys. (1) Estimating the ground resistance of a pro-
(3) Scale-model tests for laboratory deter- posed substation or transmission tower
mination of the ground resistance and potential (2) Estimating potential gradients including
gradients for an idealized design. step and touch voltages
(4) The measurement of earth resistivity. (3) Computing the inductive coupling be-
tween neighboring power and communication
2.2 The methods covered herein are limited to circuits
those using direct current, periodically reversed (4) Designing cathodic protection systems
direct current, alternating sinusoidal current (5) Geological surveys
IEEE
Std 81-1983 IEEE GUIDE FOR MEASURING EARTH RESISTIVITY, GROUND IMPEDANCE,

4. Definitions a ground or a ground grid to provide protection


from dangerous touch voltages.
Definitions of terms pertinent t o the subject NOTE: Plates and gratings of suitable area are common
matter are listed here. Those approved or forms of ground mats.
standardized by other bodies are used wherever
grounding system. Consists of al1 interconnected
possible. grounding connections in a specific area.
Definitions as given herein apply specifically ground resistance (grounding electrode). The
to the application of this guide. For additional ohmic resistance between the grounding elec-
definitions see ANSIIIEEE Std 100-1977, trode and a remote grounding electrode of zero
IEEE Standard Dictionary of Electrical and resistance.
Electronics Terms. NOTE: By remote is meant at a distance such that the
mutual resistance of the two electrodes is essentially
ground. A conducting connection, whether in- zero.
tentional or accidental, by which an electric
circuit or equipment is connected t o the earth, mutual resistance of grounding electrodes.
or to some conducting body of relatively large Equal t o the voltage change in one of them
extent that serves in place of the earth. produced by a change of one ampere of direct
NOTE: It is used for establishing and maintaining the current in the other, and is expressed in ohms.
potential of the earth (or of the conducting body) or
approximately that potential, on conductors connected electiic potential. The potential difference
t o it, and for conducting ground current t o and from between the point and some equipotential sur-
the earth (or the conducting body).
face, usually the surface of the earth, which is
grounded. A system, circuit, or apparatus re- arbitrarily chosen as having zero potential (re-
ferred to is provided with a ground. mote earth).
NOTE: A point which has a higher potential than a
ground-return circuit. A circuit in which the zero surface is said t o have a positive potential; one
earth is utilized to complete the circuit. having a lower potential has a negative potential.

ground current. Current flowing in the earth or equipotential line or contour. The locus of
in a grounding connection. points having the same potential at a given
time.
grounding conductor. The conductor that is
used to establish a ground and that connects potential profile. A plot of potential as a func-
an equipment, device, wiring system, or ano'ther tion of distance along a specified path.
conductor (usually the neutral conductor) with
surface-potential gradient. The slope of a
the grounding electrode or electrodes. potential profile, the path of which intersects
grounding electrode. A conductor used to equipotential lines at right angles.
establish a ground.
touch voltage. The potential difference between
grounding connection. A connection used in a grounded metallic structure and a point on
establishing a ground and consists of a ground- the earth's surface separated by a distance
ing conductor, a grounding electrode and the equal to the normal maximum horizontal reach,
earth (soil) that surrounds the electrode or approximately one meter.
some conductive body which serves instead of
step voltage. The potential difference between
the earth.
two points on the earth's surface, separated by
ground grid. A system of grounding electrodes a distance of one pace, that will be assumed to
consisting of interconnected bare cables buried be one meter, in the direction of maximum
in the earth to provide a common ground for potential gradient.
electrical devices and metallic structures. NOTE: This potential difference could be dangerous
when current flows through the earth or material upon
NOTE: It may be connected to auxiliary grounding which a workman is standing, particularly under fault
electrodes to lower its resistance. conditions.

ground mat. A system of bare conductors, on


or below the surface of the earth, connected t o
resistivity (material). A factor such that the
conduction-current density is equal to the a
IEEE
AND EARTH SURFACE POTENTIALS OF A GROUND SYSTEM Std 81-1983

electric field in the material divided by the potential can exist between the station ground
resistivity. and a remote ground if a power-system fault
involving the station ground occurs while
coupling. The association of two or more cir-
ground tests are being made.
cuits or systems in such a way that power or Since one of the objectives of tests on a
signal information may be transferred from
station-ground system is to establish the loca-
one to another.
tion of remote earth for both current and
NOTE: Coupling is described as close or loose. A
close-coupled process has elements with small phase potential electrodes, the leads to these elec-
shift between specified variables; close-coupled systems trodes must be treated as though a possible
have large mutual effect shown mathematically by potential could exist between test leads and
cross-products in the system matrix.
any point on the station ground grid. Some
coupling capacitance. The association of two idea of the magnitude of this possible potential
or more circuits with one another by means of may be gained from the consideration that
capacitance mutual to the circuits. even in the larger stations the ground grid shall
have an impedance in the order of 0.05 Cl to
resistive coupling. The association of two or 0.5 Cl. Assuming for this example that the
more circuits with one another by means o£ ground-fault cument through the grid is in the
resistance mutual to the circuits. order of 20 kA the -potential to remote emth
(ground potential rise) will be in the order of
direct coupling. The association of two or more 1.0 k v to 1 0 kv. For higher ground impedance
circuits by means of self-inductance, capaci- or greater fault currents, the rise of station-
tance, resistance, or a combination of these ground voltage may exceed 10 kv.
that is common to the circuits. The preceding discussion points to the neces-
inductive coupling (1)(communication circuits). sity of caution when handling the test leads,
The association of two or more circuits with and under no circumstances should the two
one another by means of inductance mutual to hands or other parts of the body be allowed to
the circuits or the mutual inductance that asso- complete the circuit between points of possible
ciates the circuits. high-potential difference. It is true that the
NOTE: This term, when used without modifying words, chances are remote that a station-ground fault
is commonly used foi coupling by means of mutual in- will occur while test leads are being handled,
ductance, whereas coupling by means of self-inductance but this possibility should not be discounted
common to the ciicuits is called direct inductive coup-
ling. and therefore the use of insulating shoes,
gloves, blankets, and other protection devices
(2) (inductive coordination piactice). The
interrelation of neighboring electric supply and are recommended whenever measurements are
communication circuits by electric or magnetic carried out at an energized power station.
induction, or both. In al1 cases, safety procedures and practices
adopted by the particular organization involved
effective resistivity. A factor such that the con- shall be followed.
duction current density is equal to the electric
field in the material divided by the resistivity. 5.2 Surge-Arrestei Ground Tests. These grounds
fa11 in a special category because of the extrem-
counterpoise (overhead lines) (lighting protec- ely high short-duration lightning currents car-
tion). A conductor or system of conductors, ried by surge-arrester grounds. These currents
arranged benea.th the transmission line, located may be in excess of 50 000 A for surge cur-
on, above or most frequently below the surface rents, with a possibility of fault-system cur-
of the earth, and connected to the footings of rents in the case of a defective surge arrester.
the towers or poles supporting the line. An isolated surge arrester ground should never
be disconnected to be measured, since the base
of the arrester can be elevated to the line po-
tential. A surge-arrester ground can be tested as
5. Safety Precautions While Making long as precautions are taken to minimize ar-
Ground Tests rester discharge.

@ 5.1 Station Ground Tests. It should be strongly


impressed on al1 test personnel that a lethal
5.3 Small Isolated Ground Tests. Another pre-
caution concerns possible high-potential gradi-
IEEE
Std 81-1983 IEEE GUIDE FOR MEASURING EARTH RESISTIVITY, GROUND IMPEDANCE,

ents around the current electrode. If current is order of magnitude as the ground being tested
passed into a remotely located electrode, as in (three-point method). Otherwise, incorrect
the fall-of-potential method, it is worthwhile to results may be obtained.
ensure against a curious person being allowed Obviously, these restrictions limit the use of
near the current electrode while tests are in such methods to grounds of relatively small
progress. Similarly, in rural areas grazing ani- extent such as residential swimming pools
m a l ~should not be allowed near the test cur- and small low-voltage distribution substation
rent electrode. grounds.
In the case of impedance measurements using
the fall-of-potential method, the requirements
6. General Considerations of the Problems of the test electrodes are not so critical.
Related to Measurements Theoretically the ground resistances of the
test electrodes do not influence the measure-
6.1 Complexities. The measurements of earth ments since these are taken into consideration
resistivities, ground impedances, and potential by the method of measurement. In practice,
gradients introduce a number of complexities however, the resistance values should not ex-
not encountered in other resistance, impedance, ceed a maximum value beyond which there is
and potential measurements. insufficient test current in the measuring
It may be necessary to make multiple mea- instrument. By insufficient test current is
surements and to plot trends. Stray currents meant :
and other factors usually interfere with the (1) Current lower than the instrument sensi-
measurements. tiuity, or
With development and industrial growth (2) Current in the order of magnitude of the
adjacent to power substations, it becomes stray currents in the earth
increasingly difficult to choose a suitable (3) Or both (1) and (2)
direction or locations for test probes to make a In case (l), the only corrective action avail-
resistance test. Moreover, the connection of able at the site of measurement is to increase
overhead ground wires, buried water pipes, the test current. This can be done by either in-
cable sheaths, etc, al1 have the effect of physic- creasing the voltage of the power supply or by
ally distorting and enlarging the ground grid. decreasine: the test electrode resistances. In-
NOTE: Overhead ground wires rnay be insulated either creasing the power supply voltage is not always
deliberately or by clamp corrosion and therefore low-
voltage tests may give answers different from actual possible especially with hand-driven generators
fault tests. incorporated in the measuring instrument.
Ground impedance measurements should be When this solution is practical, care must be
made immediately after the ground grid has taken to avoid dangerous potentials of the
been installed to be certain that there are no electrodes and test leads. A maximum of 100 V
major omissions of grounded components is considered safe if special precautions (such as
normally connected into the ground grid. use of insulating gloves or shoes) are taken.
Future installations such as water pipes, rail, Often the most effective way of increasing
etc will alter the values. the test current is to decrease the current elec-
It should be noted, however, that the ground trode resistance. This can be done by driving
impedance will usually decrease as the earth the rod deeper into the soil, pouring water
settles to a uniform compactness perhaps a around the rod, or by driving additional rods
year after installation. and interconnecting them in parallel. The addi-
tion of salt to the water poured around the test
6.2 Test Electrodes. The ground-impedance electrodes is of very little value; the moisture is
measurement methods described in the follow- the main requirement .
ing sections require the use of current and volt- As a general rule the resistance values of the
age test electrodes. current and potential electrodes should meet
If the impedance measurement method used the requirements of the instruments used. With
is the two- or three-point method, the imped- commercial instruments, a potential electrode
ance of the test electrodes should be either
negligible with respect to that of the ground
being tested (two-point method) or of the same
resistance of 1000 may be used. Some manu-
facturers claim that their instrument will per-
a
mit 1 0 000 in the potential electrode.
m1
1
IEEE
AND EARTH SURFACE POTENTIALS OF A GROUND SYSTEM Std 81-1983

The current electrode resistance should usu- large grounding system rnay be extremely low
ally be less than 500 a.This resistance value is (for example, 0.010 a ) but it rnay have a sig-
a function of the voltage generated by the nificant quadrature component [2311. Certain
power supply and the desired test current. The precautions should be taken when measuring
ratio of the generated voltage to the current the 60 Hz impedance of a large grounding
electrode resistance determines the test current system. For such measurements the test device
flowing in the current-indicating element of the should be operated at an approximate system
instrument being used. As a rule of thumb the frequency of 60 Hz, but the test frequency
ratio between the current electrode resistance should be slightly above or below 60 Hz, using
and the ground resistance being tested should a minimum of 50 A for the most accurate
never exceed 1000 to 1,preferably 100 t o 1or results and to avoid 60 Hz ground currents.
less. Part 11 of this guide2, Special Measurements,
In case (2), when dc tests are being made, the will cover impedance measurements of large
test current must be increased to overcome the grounding systems.
interfering effects of stray dc earth currents.
When tests with ac or periodically reversed dc 6.6 Coupling Between Test Leads. The effect
signals are being made, the frequency of the of coupling between the test leads becomes im-
test signal rnay be set to a frequency not present portant when measuring low values of ground
in the stray currents. impedance. Any voltage produced in the poten-
tia1 lead due to coupling from current flowing
6.3 Stray Direct Currents. Conduction of elec- in the current lead is directly additive to the
tricity in the soil is electrolytic and direct cur- desired measured voltage and produces a
rent results in chemical action and polarization measurement error. Since the 60 Hz inductive
potential difference. Direct potentials are pro- coupling between two parallel test leads rnay
duced between various types of soil and between be as high as 0.1 a / 1 0 0 m, the error can be
soil and metal by galvanic action. Galvanic po- appreciable. Low ground impedance usually is
tentials, polarization, and, if present, stray found with a large area ground, which requires
long test leads to reach remote earth.
@ direct currents rnay seriously interfere with
direct-current measurements. Therefore, peri- Conversely, a small area ground usually has
odically reversed direct current or sometimes a fairly high ground impedance and requires
regularly pulsed current is used in making mea- shorter test leads to reach remote earth. Thus
surements. However, when using periodically the effects of coupling can be expected t o be
reversed direct current for resistance measure- worse on measurements of large area, low
ments the resulting values will be fairly close, impedance grounds. As a rule of thumb test
but they rnay not be accurate for alternating- lead coupling is usually negligible on measure-
current applications. Caution must be exercised ments of grounds of 1 0 or greater, is almost
in areas subject to solar-induced currents always important on measurements of 1 or
(quasi-dc). less, and should be considered in the range
between 1and 1 0 a.
6.4 Stray Alternating Currents. Stray alternat- Test lead coupling rnay be minimized by
ing currents in the earth, in the grounding appropriately routing the potential and current
system under test, and in the test electrodes leads. When test lead couplings are anticipated,
present an additional complication. The effects the potential and current leads should be
of stray alternating current rnay be mitigated in placed at the maximum feasible angle.
ground resistance measurements by utilizing a
frequency that is not present in the stray cur- 6.7 Buried Metallic Objects. Partially or com-
rent. Most measuring devices use frequencies pletely buried objects such as rails, water, or
within a range of 50 Hz to 100 Hz. The use of other industrial metallic pipes will considerably
filters or narrow band measuring instruments, influence the measurement results [9],[36].
or both, is often required to overcome the
effects of stray alternating currents.
he numbers in brackets correspond to those of the
Bibliography listed in Appendix D of this guide.
6.5 Reactive Component of Impedance of a 2Part 11of this guide has not been completed at this
@ Large Grounding System. The impedance of a time.
IEEE
Std 81-1983 IEEE GUIDE FOR MEASURING EARTH RESISTIVITY, GROUND IMPEDANCE,

In earth-resistivity tests a sharp drop in the


measured value is often caused by the presence E 1i '
of a metallic object buried close to the test 6

h=_
location. The magnitude and extent of the
drop gives an idea of the importance and depth -
L 10

of the buried material. The measured resistance L


V)
of a ground electrode located close to a buried
metallic object can be significantly lower than o 5 1o 15 ADDED SALT IN %
its value if the additional buried metal objects
(a)
were not present. However, the importance of
the effect of buried metallic structures should
not be minimized in determining the effective
GPR for communication protective purpose.
Earth potential contours are distorted and
gradients are increased when measured above -
buried metallic objects. 2
li:<
Wherever the presence of buried metallic 1 10
structures is suspected in the area where soil L?
resistivity measurements are to be taken and : 10
V>

the location of these structures is known, the o 10 20 30 MOISTURE IN %


influence of these structures on the soil resistiv- (b)
ity measurement results can be minimized by
aligning the test probes in a direction perpen-
dicular to the routing of these structures. Also
the location of the test probes should be as far
as possible from the buried structures.

7. Earth Resistivity

7.1 General. The techniques for measuring soil


resistivity are essentially the same whatever the
purpose of the measurement.. However, the
interpretation of the recorded data can vary
considerably, especially where soils with non-
uniform resistivities are encountered. The Fig 1
added complexity caused by nonuniform Earth Resistivity ~ a r i a t i o n s
soils is common, and in only a few cases are the (a) Salt (b) Moisture (c) Temperature
soil resistivities constant with increasing depth.
Earth resistivity varies not only with the type being simple. More detailed tables are available
of soil but also with temperature, moisture, salt in [311, [361, [391.
content, and compactness (see Fig 1). The Usually there are several layers, each having a
literature indicates that the values of earth different resistivity. Lateral changes may also
resistivity vaiy from 0.01 to 1 a - m for sea occur, but in general, these changes are gradual
water and up to 109 C2.m for sandstone. The and negligible at least in the vicinity of the site
resistivity of the earth increases slowly with concerned.
decreasing temperatures from 25 OC t o O "C. In most cases, the measurement will show
Below O O C the resistivity increases rapidly. that the resistivity p,, is mainly a function of
In frozen soil, as in the surface layer in winter depth z. For purposes of illustration, we will
the resistivity may be exceptionally high. assume that this function may be written as:
Table 1shows the resistivity values for various
soils and rocks. This table has the advantage of
IEEE
AND EARTH SURFACE POTENTIALS OF A GROUND SYSTEM Std 81-1983

Table 1
Geological Period and Formation
Cretaceous Cambrian Pre-Cambrian
Earth Resistivity Tertiary Carboniferous Ordovician and Combinat.
Ohmmeters Quarternary Quarternary Triassic Devonian with Cambrian
1 Sea water

Loam
1 0 Unusually low Clay
Chalk Chalk
30 Very low
Trap
100 Low Diabase
Shale
300 Medium Shale
Limestone
Limestone
1000 High Sandstone
Sandstone Sandstone
Coarse Sand
3000 Very high Dolomite Quartyite
and Grave1
Slate
1 0 000 Unusually in Surface
high Granite
Layers
Gneisses
NOTE: Table 1is from reference [381 of the Bibliography section.

The nature of the function @ is in general not of different resistivities. However, at power-line
simple and consequently the interpretation of cmier frequencies, radio, or surge frequencies,
the measurements will consist of establishing a earth return impedances are practically sensi-
simple equivalent function @e which will give tive only to the top few meters of soil.
the best approximation. In the case of power The above statements are good arguments in
and communication circuits, a two horizontal favor of methods which include both surface
layer configuration [ l o ] , [18], [20], [31], and deep soil-resistivity measurements. In such
[38], [39], and an exponential earth [38], methods a number of readings are taken. At
[42] have proved to be good approximations each reading the test current involves an in-
that can be useful in determining system creased volume of the surrounding earth.
designs,
Some publications [9], [ l o ] , [18], [20], 7.2 Methods of Measuring Earth Resistivity
[31], [36], [38], [39], [42], have shown that 7.2.1 Geological Information and Soil
earth surface potential gradients inside or Samples. Often, at the site where a grounding
adjacent to an electrode are mainly a function system is to be installed, extensive civil engi-
of top coi1 resistivity. In contrast, the ground neering work must be carried out. This work
electrode resistance is primarily a function of usually involves geological prospecting which
deep soil resistivity, especially if the electrode results in a considerable amount of information
is very large. on the nature and configuration of the site soil.
NOTE: This is not valid in those extreme cases where Such data could be of considerable help to the
the electrode is buried in an extremely high resistivity electrical engineer who should try to obtain
top soil. this information.
Transmission-line parameters at power fre- The determination of soil resistivity from the
quencies are sensitive to the presence of layers values of resistance measured between opposite
IEEE
Std 81-1983 IEEE GUIDE FOR MEASURING EARTH RESISTIVITY, GROUND IMPEDANCE,

faces of a soil sample of known dimensions is 7.2.3 Two-Point Method. Rough measure-
not recommended since the unknown inter- xents of the resistivity of undisturbed earth
facial resistances of the soil sample and the can be made in the field with the shepard-soil
electrodes are included in the measured value. resistivity meter and similar two-point methods.
A more accurate determination is possible if The apparatus consists of one small and one
a four-terminal resistance measurement of the smaller iron electrode, both attached to an
soil sample is made. The potential terminals insulating rod. The positive terminal of a
should be small, relative t o the sample cross- battery is connected through a milliammeter
section, and located sufficiently distant from t o the smaller electrode and the negative
the current terminals to assure near-uniform terminal t o the other electrode. The instrument
current distribution across the sample. A can be calibrated t o read directly in ohm-centi-
distance equal to the larger cross-section meters at nominal battery voltage. This type of
dimension is usually adequate for the purpose apparatus is easily portable and with it a num-
of the determination. ber of measurements can be made in a short
I t is difficult, and in some cases impossible, time on small volumes of soil by driving the
to obtain a useful approximation of soil resis- electrodes in the ground or in the walls or
tivity from resistivity measurements on samples. bottom of excavations.
This is due to the difficulty of obtaining repre- 7.2.4 Four-Point Method. The most accurate
sentative, homogeneous soil samples, and in method in practice of measuring the average
duplicating the original soil compaction and resistivity of large volumes of undisturbed
moisture content in the test cell. earth is the 'four-point method [43]. Small
7.2.2 Variation of Depth Method. This electrodes are buried in four small holes in the
method, sometimes called a three-point meth- earth, al1 at depth b and spaced (in a straight
od, is a ground-resistance test carried out line) at intervals a. A test current I is passed
severa1 times, each time the depth of burial between the two outer electrodes and the
of the tested electrode is increased by a given potential V between the two inner electrodes
increment. The purpose of this is t o force more is measured with a potentiometer or high-
test current through the deep soil. The measured impedance voltmeter. Then V/I gives the
resistance value will then reflect the variation resistance R in ohms.
of resistivity at increased depth. Usually the Two different variations of the four-point
tested electrode is a rod. Rods are preferred to method are often used:
other types of electrodes because they offer (1) Equally Spaced or Wenner Arrangement.
two important advantages: With this arrangement the electrodes are equal-
(1) The theoretical value of ground-rod ly spaced as shown in Fig 3(a). Let a be the dis-
resistance is simple to calculate with adequate tance between two adjacent electrodes. Then,
accuracy, therefore, the results are easy to the resistivity p in the terms of the length units
interpret. in which a and b are measured is:
(2) The driving of a rod into the soil is norm-
ally an easy operation.
The above measurements can be carried out
using one of the methods described in 8.2. One
should bear in mind, however, that the measured
value of the resistance should be as accurate as I t should be noted that this does not apply
possible so that it can be successfully compared to ground rods driven to depth b; it applies
to the theoretical value. Therefore, the fall-of- only to small electrodes buried at depth b,
potential method is preferably used for these with insulated connecting wires. However, in
measurements. practice, four rods are usually placed in a
The variation of depth method gives useful straight line at intervals a, driven to a depth not
information about the nature of soil in the exceeding 0.1 a. Then we assume b = O and the
vicinity of the rod (5 to 1 0 times the rod formula becomes:
length). If a large volume of soil must be in-
vestigated, it is preferable to use the four-point
method, since the driving of long rods is not and gives approximately the average resistivity
practical. of the soil to the depth a.
IEEE
AND EARTH SURFACE POTENTIALS O F A GROUND SYSTEM Std 81-1983

probes are brought nearer the corresponding


current electrodes. This increases the potential
value measured.
The formula to be used in this case can be
easily determined [35]. If the depth of burial
of the electrodes b is small compared to their
separation d and c, then the measured resistiv-
ity can be calculated as follows:

ELECTRODES SPACING (m)


7.3 Interpretation of Measurements. The inter-
pretation of the results obtained in the field is
Fig 2
perhaps the most difficult part of the measure-
Typical Resistivity Curve
ment program. As mentioned in 7.1 the earth
resistivity variation is great and complex be-
cause of the heterogeneity of earth. Except for
very few cases it is essential to establish a
simple equivalent to the earth structure. This
equivalent depends on:
(1) The accuracy and extent of the measure-
ments
(2) The method used
(3) The complexity of the mathematics in-
volved
(4) The purpose of the measurements
For applications in power engineering, the
two layer equivalent model is accurate enough
without being mathematically too involved.
7.3.1 Geological Information and Soil
Samples. Special tools or mathematical equa-
tions are not necessary to interpret such infor-
Fig 3 mation which are mainly given in the figures
Four-Point Method and tables provided by geological explorations.
(a) Equally Spaced (b) Unequally Spaced 7.3.2 Variation of Depth Method (see Ap-
pendix B). The following interpretation assumes
that the tested ground is a rod driven at depth
A set of readings taken with various probe 1. The rod radius r is small compared to 1. For
spacings gives a set of resistivities which, when other forms of electrodes the calculations will
plotted against spacing, indicates whether there be similar to the following:
are distinct layers of different soil or rock and
gives an idea of their respective resistivities and The ground resistance of the rod buried in a
depth. (See Fig 2.) uniform soil is given by reference [39] :
(2) Unequally-spaced or Schlumberger-Palmer
Arrangement. One shortcoming of the Wenner
method is the rapid decrease in magnitude of
potential between the two inner electrodes
when their spacing is increased to relatively
large values. Often the commercial instruments
are inadequate for measuring such low poten-
tia1 values. In order to be able to measure
depending on the approximations used.
resistivities with large spacings between the
current electrodes the arrangement shown in For each length 1 of the rod the measured
@ Fig 3(b) can be used successfully. The potential resistance value R determines the apparent
IEEE
Std 81-1983 IEEE GUIDE FOR MEASURING EARTH RESISTIVITY, GROUND IMPEDANCE,

varies with depth according to a simple mathe-


matical law (linear, exponential. . .).
The iesistance of a rod in such earth models
is known or can be easily calculated (see Ap-
pendix B). Using a simple computer program or
simply by a cut-and-try method, the best fit to
the experimental results can be obtained (see
Appendix B).
Q I I I l As already mentioned, the variation of depth
5 1O 15 D R l V E N R O D L E N G T H (m)
method fails to predict earth resistivity at large
distances from the area where the test rod is
Test Results
Computed apparent earth resistivity curve
embedded (distances larger than 5 to 1 0 times
based on an equivalent three-layer structure the driven rod length).
Computed apparent earth resistivity curve 7.3.3 Two-Point Method. Since this method
based on an equivalent two-layer structure is suited only for determining the resistivity of
Computed apparent earth resistivity curve small volumes of soil, it is not recommended
based on an equivalent one-layer structure
that extrapolation of the results be attempted.
7.3.4 Four-Point Method. The interpretation
Fig 4 of the four-point method is similar t o that of
Variation of Depth Results the method described in 7.3.2. For example, in
the case of the Wenner arrangement, the mea-
sured apparent resistivity is plotted against the
electrode spacing a. The resulting cuive then
resistivity value p which when plotted against 1 indicates the soil structure. Again the depths of
provides a visual aid for determining earth various layers are not easy to determine by
resistivity variation with depth. For more visual inspection of the cuive. Many authors
clarity, suppose that the field tests gave the [21] , [39], give quick empirical rules to help
cuive shown in Fig 4. By inspection of the in establishing the layer thickness. For example:
curve it can be concluded that soil stiucture is (1)The Gish and Rooney method [21] ; from
at least three distinct layers. For small values of the resistivity curve, a change in formation, for
1 (2 to 5 m) soil has a resistivity value of example, another layer is reached at a depth
210 a . m . The middle layer resistivity is about equal t o any electrode separation at which a
2 to 2.5 times that of the top layer. The thick- break or change in curvature occurs.
ness of this middle layer is not easy t o deter- (2) The Lancaster-Jones method [28] ; the
mine by visual inspection of the curve. The depth to the lower layer is taken as 2/3 the elec-
third layer is very conductive. Its resistivity trode separation at which the point of inflex-
value is certainly less than 100 a . m . However, ion occurs.
the exact value cannot be obtained through ~ o w e v e r a, better solution assumes an earth
visual inspection. Two solutions are then model such as:
possible: (a) Uniform resistivity
(b) Horizontal layers of uniform resistivities
(1) Continue measurements with rods driven (see Appendix A)
deeper into the soil (c) Exponential variation of the resistivity
(2) Use analytical techniques to compute, (see Appendix A)
from the measured data, an equivalent earth For each model the mathematical relation
stiucture between the apparent resistivity and the
Additional measurements will certainly help various earth parameters must, of course, be
in obtaining the third-layer resistivity. However known or be easy to calculate. Some analytical
the thicknesses of the two first layers are still methods frequently used are described in
not easy to determine. Moreover, driving rods Appendix C.
t o great depth may be difficult and expensive. The solutions are given for an exponential
Other alternatives consist of assuming earth and two layer-soil model. Using an adequate
as uniform, two-layer structured (or more), and analytical method, the best fit to the experi-
being composed of a material whose resistivity mental data gives the required earth parameters
IEEE
AND EARTH SURFACE POTENTIALS OF A GROUND SYSTEM Std 81-1983

Dependent on the mode of connection and


terminals used these instruments can either
measure ground resistance or earth resistivity.
In inductive coordination work, spacings up
to 1000 m often have been used. For these
long spacings, the resistance is of the order of a
few hundredths of an ohm, and a sensitive
direct-current potentiometer with a battery
supply as high as 180 V may be required. For
the shorter spacings, the four-terminal instru-
ments shown in Figs 14, 15, and 1 6 are con-
venient and adequate. For some instruments
correction may be required for the potential
probe resistances; in such cases correction
factors can usually be obtained from the sup-
plier of the instrument.
Spacing (m) The induced polarization transmitter is
normally rated at a few hundred watts. How-
+ + + Experimental Results ever, for great spacings or extremely high
Two-layer eaith (see Appendix A) top-soil resistivities, units rated at more than
p , = 638.3 ~ 2 . m 1000 W may be necessary.
p, = 116.5 a - m
h = 1.8 m
------ Exponential Variation (see Appendix A)
p , = 627.2 S2 .m
p, = 208.5 ~ 2 - m
h = 0.866 m-' 8. Ground Impedance

Fig 5 8.1 General. Connections to earth in general


Example of an Earth Resistivity Interpretation are complex impedances, having resistive,
capacitive, and inductive components, al1 of
which affect their current-carrying capabilities.
The resistance of the connection is of particu-
lar interest to those concerned with power
frequencies because it is affected by the resis-
tivity of the earth in the area of the connec-
(Fig 5 shows the results obtained using models
tion. The capacitance and inductance values
2 and 3).
are of interest to those concerned with higher
The best model to use depends on the pur-
frequencies, such as are associated with radio
pose of the measurements. Often a two-layer
earth model gives excellent results [39] . communications and lightning.
Ground-impedance measurements are made:
7.4 Instiumentation (1)To determine the actual impedance of the
7.4.1 Two-Point Method. Shepard-soil resis- ground connections
tivity meter or similar (see 7.2 for complete (2) As a check on calculations
description). (3) To determine (a) the rise in ground po-
7.4.2 Four-Point or Variation-of-Depth Meth- tential and its variation throughout an area,
ods. One of the following instruments can be that results from ground fault current in a
used (see Section 12). power system, (b) the suitability of a ground-
(1) Power supply with ammeter and high- ing connection for lightning protection, and
impedance voltmeter (c) the suitability of a grounding connection
(2) Ratio ohmmeter for radio-frequency transmission at a trans-
(3) Double-balance bridge mitter
(4) Single-balancetransformer (4) To obtain data necessary for the design of
(5) Induced-polarization receiver and trans- protection for buildings, the equipment therein,
mitter. and any personnel that may be involved
IEEE
Std 81-1983 IEEE GUIDE FOR MEASURING EARTH RESISTIVITY, GROUND IMPEDANCE,

Ground connections of al1 power and com- equipped with long driven rods in contact with
munication systems should be studied to deter- the deep soil which normally is not influenced
mine the variation in ground potential that can by weather conditions (temperature and
be encountered during ground-fault conditions moisture changes which result in top layer
so as to ensure personnel safety, adequacy of resistivity variations). However, this will not be
insulation, and continuity of service. true for grids buried over a high resistivity
8.1.1 Characteristics. The characteristics of a stratum, or simply for small electrodes (having
grounding connection vary with the composi- an area of less than 50 m2).
tion and physical state of the soil as well as Although the above statements appear to be
with the extent and configuration of the buried contradictory they are, nevertheless, true.
electrode. Earth in any given locality is com- Records which have been kept of large area
posed of various combinations of dry earth, ground grids over a period of eighteen years
swampy ground, gravel, slate, sandstone, or show little variation in the measured value of
other natural materials of widely varying resis- resistance, whereas, resistivity measurements in
tivity. I t may be relatively homogeneous over the same area show wide variations (as much as
a large area, or it may be effectively saucered in 1 7 to 1 at shallow depths). It should be recog-
granite, sand, or other matter having a high nized that the resistance of a grounding con-
resistivity and thus be practically insulated' nection with a small number of driven rods
from the surrounding area. Consequently, the may vary more closely with that indicated by
characteristics of a grounding connection resistivity measurements. This indicates that the
(ohmic resistance) vary with the seasons, which resistance of large area ground grids is propor-
affect temperature, moisture content, and com- tional to resistivity measurements made for
pactness of the soil. greater depths where less variation is encoun-
Calculations and experience show that, in a tered.
given soil, the effectiveness of a ground grid is Some of the ground-fault current from a
dependent largely upon the overall size of the transmission line fault to a substation ground
ground grid. The addition of buried conductors grid tends to follow the transmission line.
and driven rods within an enclosure also aid Depth of mean current path is directly propor-
somewhat in reducing the ground impedance. tional to the square root of the earth resistivity
This reduction diminishes with the addition of and inversely proportional to the square root
each successive conductor or rod. A good of the frequency. Thus resistance tends to in-
method for reducing the ground resistance of crease the cross-sectional area of the current
a transmission-line tower or mast is to insta11 path, whereas inductance tends to decrease it
radial counterpoises. and to tie more closely to the transmission line.
After the installation of a substation or This tendency will also affect the pattern of
other grounded structure, the settling of the the current path away from the electrode.
earth with annual cyclical weather changes 8.1.2 Theoretical Value of Ground Resis-
tends t o reduce the ground irnpedance sub- tance. Calculated or theoretical values of the
stantially during the first year or two. resistance of an electrode to remote earth can
The impedance of a grounding electrode is vary considerably from the measured value
usually measured in terms of resistance because because of the following factors:
the reactance is generally negligible with respect (1)Adequacy of the analytical equations
to the resistive component. (This is not appli- used in the resistance calculations.
cable for large grounding structures with im- (2) Conditions of the soil at the time the
pedance values below 0.5 a, and for grounds measurement is made. Earth resistivities being
subject to surge or impulse currents.) This different from those assumed in the calcula-
resistance will not usually vary greatly from tions.
year to year after the first year or two follow- (3) Inaccurate or insufficient extent of the
ing the burial of the ground grid. Although the resistivity survey; for example, number and
ground grid may be buried only half a meter dispersa1 of tests, probe spacings, and inade-
below the surface, the variation of the resistance quacy of the instrumentation used.
for larger stations seems to bear little relation- (4) Presence in the soil of adjacent metallic
ship to the variation of the resistivity at the buried structures and ground wires which may
burial level. This is especially true for grids divert a substantial amount of the test current.
IEEE
AND EARTH SURFACE POTENTIALS O F A GROUND SYSTEM Std 81-1983

In order to decrease the sources of error in 8.2.1.2 Three-Point Method. This method
establishing the relationship between earth involves the use of two test electrodes with the
resistivity and ground resistance it is advisable resistances of the test electrodes designated r2
to take resistivity and resistance measurements and r3 and with the electrode to be measured
under similar weather and moisture conditions. designated r l . The resistance between each pair
If the measured values are used as data for of electrodes is measured and designated r12,
the design of a grounding electrode, it is recom- 1.13 and r23
Y

mended that the measurements be carried out


under various weather conditions. This will
help the designer in establishing the most where
restrictive or limiting case, especially for small r12 = rl + r2 etc. Solving the simultaneous
grounds which are influenced by seasonal equations, it follows that:
changes in weather.

8.2 Methods of Measuring Ground Impedance


8.2.1 General. In this section only general
methods are covered [ 6 ] , [ e ] , [12], [22], Therefore, by measuring the series resistance
[30] . For the instrumentation available refer of each pair of ground electrodes and substitut-
to Section 12. While in this section the ohmic ing the resistance values in the equation, the
value is called resistance, it should be remem- value of r1 may be established. If the two test
bered that there is a reactive component that electrodes are of materially higher resistance
should be taken into account when the ohmic than the electrode under test, the errors in the
value of the ground under test is less than individual measurements will be greatly magni-
0.5 S2, and the ground is of a relatively large fied in the final result. For the measurement,
extent. This reactive component has little the electrodes must be at some distance from
effect in grounds with an impedance higher each other; otherwise absurdities may arise in
than 1 a. The resistance of a ground electrode the calculations, such as zero or even negative
usually is determined with alternating or resistance. In measuring the resistance of a
periodically reversed current to avoid possible single-driven electrode the distance between
polarization effects when using direct current. the three separate ground electrodes should be
The frequency of this alternating current at least 5 m with a preferable spacing of 1 0 m
should be near the power frequency. or more. For larger area grounding systems,
8.2.1.1 Two-Point Method (Ammetei-Volt- which are presumably of lower resistances,
meter Method). In this method the total resis- spacings in the order of the dimensions of the
tance of the unknown and an auxiliary ground grounding systems are required as a minirnum.
is measured. The resistance of the auxiliary This method becomes awkward for large sub-
ground is presumed to be negligible in compari- stations, and some form of the fall-of-potential
son with the resistance of the unknown ground, method is preferred, if high accuracy is re-
and the measured value in ohms is called the quired.
resistance of the unknown ground. 8.2.1.3 Ratio Method. In this method the
The usual application of this method is to resistance of the electrode under test is com-
determine the resistance of a single rod-driven pared with a known resistance, usually by using
ground near a residence that also has a com- the same electrode configuration, as in the
mon municipal water supply system that uses fall-of-potential method. Since this is a compar-
metal pipe without insulating joints. The water ison method the ohm readings are independent
pipe is the auxiliary ground and its ground of the test current magnitude if the test cument
resistance is assumed to be in the order of 1 is high enough to give adequate sensitivity.
and must be low in relation to the permissible
driven ground maximum resistance which is 8.2.1.4 Staged Fault Tests. Staged high-
usually in the order of 25 a. current tests may be required for those cases
Obviously, this method is subject to large where specific information is desired on a par-
errors for low-valued driven grounds but is very ticular grounding installation. Also, a ground
useful and adequate where a go, no-go, type of impedance determination can be obtained as
test is al1 that is required. auxiliary information at the time of actual
IEEE
Std 81-1983 IEEE GUIDE FOR MEASURING EARTH RESISTIVITY, GROUND IMPEDANCE,

1
I
I
I
I
I
I I
I I

/////
+
I
p2 ,C I
p1

'\
\\\\\
I i i i l II
POTENTIAL
1 CURRENT
ELECTRODE
f I
ELECTRODE
I ELECTRODE
I 1
BElNG TESTED - d F

Fig 6
Fall-of-Potential Method

ground faults by utilizing an oscillograph or t o al1 types of ground impedance measure-


one element of the automatic station oscillo- ments. As mentioned in 6.5, the impedance of
graph. a large grounding system may have an appre-
In either case the instrumentation is the same. ciable reactive component when the impedance
The object is t o record the voltage between is less than 0.5 a, therefore, the measured
selected points on one or more oscillograph value is an impedance and should be so con-
elements. The voltages to be recorded will sidered although the terminology often used is
probably be of such great magnitude that resistance.
potential step-down transformers will be The method involves passing a current into
required. The maximum voltages that can be the electrode t o be measured and noting the
expected and thus the ratios of the potential influence of this current in terms of voltage
transformers required may be determined in between the ground under test and a test
advance of the staged tests by using the fall-of- potential electrode.
potential method at practical values of test A test current electrode is used to permit
current. passing a current into the electrode to be
Another important consideration is the cali- tested (see Fig 6).
bration of the oscillograph circuit, which is The current I through the tested electrode E
composed of a potential transformer with a and the current electrode C, results in earth
possible high resistance in the primary. This surface potential variations. The potential
resistance is composed of the remote poten- profile along the C, P, E, direction will look as
tia1 ground in series with a long lead. A satis- in Fig 7. Potentials are measured with respect
factory calibration of the deflection of the to the ground under test, E, which is assumed
oscillograph element may be made by inserting for convenience at zero potential.
a measured voltage in the primary circuit in The fall-of-potential method consists of plot-
series with the lead and the remote potential ting the ratio of V/I = R as a function of probe
ground as used during the test. spacing x. The potential electrode is moved
The location of the acutal points to be away from the ground under test in steps. A
measured is dependent on the information value of impedance is obtained at each step.
desired; but in al1 cases due allowance must be This impedance is plotted as a function of
made for coupling between test circuits, as distance, and the value in ohms at which this
given in 6.5. plotted curve appears t o leve1 out is taken as
8.2.1.5 Fall-of-Potential Method. This the impedance value of the ground under test
method has severa1 variations and is applicable (see Fig 8).
81-83 1L1805702 0001b38 O

IEEE
AND EARTH SURFACE POTENTIALS O F A GROUND SYSTEM Std 81-1983

W
TRUE RESISTANCE
POTENTIA L
POTENTl A L PROBE A T P POTENTI A L
a W
PROBE A T P2 Q a: PROBE A T P,
-- -- --- - - - ------

E
- C

Fig 7
Appaxent Resistance for Various Spacings X

POTENTIAL ELECTRODE BETWEEN


THE TEST A N D CURRENT ELECTRODE
(P LOCATION)

LECTRODE I N OPPOSITE
DlRECTlON FROM CURRENT ELECTRODE
(P2 LOCATION)

DISTANCE BETWEEN POTENTIAL ELECTRODE A N D STATION FENCE (m1

Fig 8
Case of a High-Impedance Ground System

This rule of thumb must be applied carefully to be tested. This influence is sometimes called
since it gives satisfactoiy results only if a flat extent of station ground and may be considered
portion has been established very clearly. The as the distance beyond which there is a negligi-
theory of the fa11 of potential method is ex- ble effect on the measured rise of ground volt-
plained in Appendix C. age caused by ground current. Theoretically
In order to obtain a flat portion of the curve the influence extends to infinity ;but practically
it is necessary that the current electrode be there is a limit, because the influence varies
effectively outside the influence of the ground inversely as some power of the distance from
IEEE
Std 81-1983 IEEE GUIDE FOR MEASURING EARTH RESISTIVITY, GROUND IMPEDANCE,

-
/- POTENTIAL ELECTRODE BETWEEN THE TEST
A N D CURRENT ELECTRODE (P LOCATION)

z _----
a
a /
/
/

POTENTIAL ELECTRODE I N OPPOSITE


a /
DlRECTlON FROM CURRENT ELECTRODE
(P2 LOCATION).

I I I I I
O 80 160 240 320 400

DISTANCE BETWEEN POTENTIAL ELECTRODE A N D STATION FENCE (m)

Fig 9
Case of a Low-Impedance Ground System

the ground to be tested. This influence is deter- leads. If reasonably large distances between P,
mined and allowed for during the test on ground and C are achieved (with respect to the elec-
grids or deep-driven ground rods of 1 or less. trode E under tests), then it is possible to use
In the case of small-area, such as single rod this method to obtain a lower limit for the tiue
driven grounds, tower footings (not connected resistance of electrode E.
to overhead wires or counterpoises) the influ- A represéntative curve for a large grid ground
ence can be rendered negligible by keeping is shown in Fig 9. The data for this figure were
spacings in the order of 50 m which is practical taken from a test made on a station that had a
and easy to achieve on site. ground gríd approximately 125 m by 150 m.
For large grounds the spacings required may Distances were measured from the station
not be practical or even possible. Consequently fence; hence the impedance is not zero at zero
the flat portion of the curve will not be obtained distance on the cuwe. Curve B is obtained with
and other methods of interpretation must be the potential probe located between E and C.
used. Curve A is obtained with the potential probe
I t is important to note at this stage that located at the opposite side with respect to the
theoretical analysis of the fall of potential current electrode C.
problem [14], [19], [40], [41], shows that The test shows the existence of a mutual
placement of the potential probe P at the resistance between the current electrode and
opposite side with respect to electrode C (P,) the station ground and that is why curve B
will result always in a measured apparent does not level out. Curve A does seem to level
resistance smaller than the true resistance. out and can be used to obtain a lower limit for
Moreover, when P is located on the same side the impedance value of the electrode under
as electrode C but away from it (P,), there is test.
a particular location which gives the true 8.2.1.6 Interpretation of the Results. Ap-
resistance. pendix C shows that there is one potential
It should be emphasized, however, that the probe spacing which gives the true ground
P, arrangement presents the advantage of mini- irnpedance of the ground being tested.
mizing the coupling problem between test The correct spacing may be very difficult,
IEEE
AND EARTH SURFACE POTENTIALS O F A GROUND SYSTEM Std 81-1983

Fig 10
Required Potential Electrode Position
in a Two Layer Earth

however, to determine especiaily if the ground The above statements show that in order to
grid has a complex shape (see 181, [12] and apply the 61.8% rule the following conditions
[14] for additional information). The correct should exist :
spacing is also a function of the soil configura- (1) A fairly uniform soil
tion as demonstrated in [12] and illustrated by (2) Large spacings so that the electrodes may
Fig 10, which is applicable to small ground be assumed hemispherical.
systems. As indicated in this figure the required Also the reference origin for the measurement
potential probe spacing x (when the probe is of spacing must be determined. For hemispher-
between E and C and when the soil is uniform) ical grounds, the origin is the center of the
is such that the ratio x/d = 0.618. This was first ground. For large ground systems some authors
proved by E.B. Ciirdts [8] for small hemispher- introduce the concept of electrical center and a
ical electrodes. method of determining the impedance of ex-
IEEE
Std 81-1983 IEEE GUIDE FOR MEASURING EARTH RESISTIVITY, GROUND IMPEDANCE,

tensive ground systems imbedded in a uniform meter or portable potentiometer and the effec-
soil (based on the concept of electrical center) tive resistance is calculated from the current
is described in a paper by Tagg [40] . It should and voltage readings. From these readings and
be noted, however, that there is no proof that the calculated resistance of copper it can be
the electrical center is a physical constant (such determined whether there is an adequate con-
as gravity center) which is not influenced by the nection. For those ground systems that have a
current electrode location and characteristics. direct voltage between points, the change of
As a general conclusion, the best guarantee of voltage caused by the test current is used to
a satisfactory measurement is to achieve a calculate the resistance.
spacing such that al1 mutual resistances are For the majority of large ground systems in
sufficiently small and the fall-of-potential curve service there will be a realtively large alternat-
levels out. The main advantage of the fa11 of ing voltage between the points to be measured
potential method is that the potential and cur- compared with the direct millivolts to be detec-
rent electrodes may have a substantially higher ted. The effects of the alternating component
resistance than the ground being tested without on the detector can be mitigated by shunting
significantly affecting the accuracy of the the moving coi1 in the millivoltmeter, or the
measurement. galvanometer in the potentiometer, with a
capacitor of 20 pF or more. This capacitor
8.3 Testing the Integrity of the Ground Grid. should preferably have a liquid impregnated
In this test the object is to determine whether paper dielectric, but some modern electrolytic .
the various parts of the ground grid are inter- condensers have so little leakage that they can
connected with low-resistance copper. This be used in this application.
copper is shunted by the surrounding earth,
which usually has a very low impedance. 8.4 Instrumentation. The instruments used for
The best method for making integrity-of- ground resistance measurements are identical
ground-grid tests is to use a large but practical t o those used for resistivity measurements.
direct current and some means of detecting the These instruments are described in Section 12.
voltage drop caused by this current. Direct
reading ohmmeters can be used if the sensi-
tivity is adequate. 9. Earth Potential
The ammeter-voltmeter method, using alter-
nating current, cannot be used satisfactorily for 9.1 Equipotential Lines. As a result of current
this test. The reactance of a large copper wise in from an electrode to earth and through its eai-th
this case is shunted by the surrounding earth, a path, equipotential surfaces plotted at right
path which may have slightly less reactance angles to these current lines will assume a shape
than the wire. Therefore, a continuity test for controlled by the path of the current. The
buried wire would give indeterminate results if density of equipotential surfaces, having equal
alternating current were used. voltage differences between them, across a path
By extension of this reasoning, one concludes in a given direction determines the step voltage
that it is practically impossible to sensibly which may be encouniered. This gradient will
lower the impedance between two ground grids be highest near the grounding electrode.
which are any distance apart, each of which has The distance between equipotential surfaces,
an impedance in the order of 0.1 52 at 60 Hz. measured along the surface of the earth radially
The addition of copper connectors, however from the grounding connection, will vary with
large, will not lower the reactance between the a number of factors. These include variations in
two ground grids. The resistive component can resistivity of the earth, the presence of buried
be lowered by additional connectors, and this pipes, conduit, railroad rails, steel fences,
component is used t o determine the integrity metallic cable sheaths, and the presence of
of the ground grid. overhead lines carrying ground current.
One practical integrity test consists of passing As indicated in 8.1, some of the ground-fault
about five amperes into the ground grid between current tends to return to the source under the
two points to be checked. The voltage drop transmission line which carries the current.
across these points is measured with a millivolt- Consequently it will be found that the ground
IEEE
AND EARTH SURFACE POTENTIALS OF A GROUND SYSTEM Std 81-1983

potential under the transmission line carrying ing and drying of the soil in contact with the
fault current will have a steeper gradient than ground grid or test electrode t o avoid variations
in the adjoining earth. This results in changing in voltage gradients in a series of measurements.
the pattern of the equipotential lines whenever Economics and the necessary detail required
a different transmission line terminating at the will determine the number of measurements to
station is faulted. Therefore, equipotential lines be made.
cannot be established simply by measuring re- When more than one overhead line or under-
sistance from the grounding connection to var- ground cable are connected to a substation,
ious points around it. potential gradients in and around the substation
When once established, the voltage between rnay be quite different for faults on different
the equipotential lines for a given fault condi- lines or cables. Likewise, faults at different
tion can be expected to vary directly with locations in large substations rnay result in
ground-fault c u i ~ e n tmagnitude. This assumes differences in potential gradients in and around
no change in the resistivity of the earth around the substation. I t may, therefore, be advan-
the grounding system during the flow of fault tageous to determine potential gradients in and
cument. around a large substation for two or more
fault conditions.
9.2 Potential Contour Surveys. A potential Underground metallic structures, for example,
contour survey is made to locate possible neutral conductors, metallic cable sheaths,
hazardous potential gradients in the vicinity of metallic water and gas lines, etc, metallic struc-
grounded electrical structures during fault tures on the surface of the ground such as rail-
conditions [7], [29]. The voltage drop to road rails and fences, and overhead ground
points surrounding the structure is measured wires in the vicinity of a substation, whether
from a known reference point and plotted on connected to the ground grid or not, will
a map of the location. A potential contour map usually have a significant effect on potential
rnay then be drawn by connecting points of gradients and should be considered when mak-
equal potential with continuous lines. If the ing potential gradient measurements.
contour lines have equal voltage differences When a potential gradient survey cannot be
between them, the closer the lines, the greater justified economically, potential gradients rnay
the hazard. Actual gradients due to ground- be calculated from ground resistance os soil
fault current are obtained by multiplying test resistivity measurements. The accuracy of such
current gradients by the ratio of the fault cur- calculations will be dependent upon the accur-
rent t o test current. acy of the measurements, and the unknown
The most accurate measurements of potential abnormalities of the earth around and below
gradients are made with the voltmeter-ammeter the ground grid.
method. A known current, between 50 A and The adequacy of such calculations rnay be
100 A, held constant during test, is passed verified with relatively few potential gradient
through the ground grid to a remote ground measurements.
test electrode and returned through an in-
sulated conductor. A remotely located ground 9.3 Step and Touch Voltages. The magnitude
test electrode is necessary to prevent gradient of step and touch voltage (see Fig 11) rnay be
distortion, caused by the mutual impedance of scaled off of a potential contour map of the
inadequately spaced ground electrodes. This site or actually measured by the voltmeter-
distance rnay vary from 300 m, for a small ammeter method. These values are proportional
ground grid to a mile or more foi larger instal- to the earth current and (provided that the
lations. Measurements should be made with a deep soil resistivity is constant) to the top soil
very-high-impedance voltmeter on the surface resistivity.
of the earth along profile lines radial to the
~ o i n of
t connection t o the ground @id. Unless NOTE: A variation of resistivity of the top soil in some
suitable means are e m-~ l o" v e d to mask out cases increases the ground resistance. This in turn may
residual ground current, the test current rnust cause a variation in the earth current. The changes in
step and touch voltages should therefore be determined
be 0f sufficient magnitude t0 At the by taking into account simultaneously, top-soil resis-
same time care must be taken t o prevent heat- tivity and earth current variations.
IEEE
Std 81-1983 IEEE GUIDE FOR MEASURING EARTH RESISTIVITY, GROUND IMPEDANCE,

POTENTIAL RlSE ABOVE


REMOTE EARTH DURING
SHORT ClRCUlT

STEP VOLTAGE AT A GROUNDED STRUCTURE

POTENTIAL RlSE ABOVE


REMOTE EARTH DURING
ORT ClRCUlT

TOUCH VOLTAGE A T A GROUNDED STRUCTURE

Fig 11
Step and Touch Voltages

10. Transient Impedance shown [4], [15] that the impedance of a


simple grounding electrode depends on the
10.1 Transient Impedance of Ground Systems amplitude of the impulse current and also
10.1.1 General. Many grounding systems are varies with time, depending on the impulse
designed for operation under transient condi- form.
tions, most commonly for carrying impulse
current due to a lightning stroke. I t has been
The nonlinearity of the grounding impedance
is caused by local discharges in soil in the area 4
IEEE
AND EARTH SURFACE POTENTIALS O F A GROUND SYSTEM Std 81-1983

where the electric field gradient exceeds 2.5 kV- requires a reference grounding point. The
3 kV/cm. Since the field gradient attains the reference ground can be conveniently located
highest value at the ground electrode the dis- a t the impulse generator base, provided that
charges partly short circuit the layer of soil there is sufficient distance t o the examined
adjacent to the electrode. Consequently the ground. The transient impedance of ground is
transient impedance of the grounding system derived from the voltage and current oscillo-
for high-current impulses is lower than the grams as a quotient of these two transients,
value measured with the conventional steady- calculated point by point for consecutive time
state methods, or with an impulse of lower intervals.
amplitude which does not produce the dis- Since the variation of the grounding imped-
charges in soil. ance depends on the impulse current amplitude
An opposite effect has been observed in the and form, as well as on the electrode geometry
case of extended ground electrodes, wires or and the type of soil, severa1 measurements have
strips more than 300 m (1000 ft) long, when to be taken to permit a more general interpreta-
tested with steep front impulses. The voltage tion of results and for a definite conclusion.
drop across the grounding impedance shows Attention should also be drawn to possible
then a large inductive component. The instan- common mode interference which may appear
taneous impedance is normally determined as in the measuring circuit if the grounding points
a quotient of the applied transient voltage and of the voltage divider and shunt are shifted
current recorded at the same instant. The from the reference ground potential.
additional voltage component which appears 10.1.3 Instrumentation. The schematic dia-
across the grounding inductance at the steep gram of the apparatus used is given in Fig 12.
impulse front (or at an abrupt collapse of the Measurement of transient impedance of a
impulse current) is then interpreted as an in- driven grounding rod or of a distributed ground
crease of the grounding impedance. system requires specialized equipment, which is
10.1.2 Measurements of the Transient Im- normally used in high-voltage laboratories. The
pedance of Ground Systems. The grounding high-voltage and high-current impulse is gener-
impedance measurements have to be performed ated by discharge of a large capacitar into an
using the real amplitude voltage and current impulse forming network. Although such a
impulses, because the nonlinear characteristics circuit can be improvized on the test site, in
of this impedance exclude modeling techniques most practical cases a mobile impulse generator
or reduced scale experiments. To perform such is used. There are no generally accepted stan-
measurements a testing circuit is required which dards for the current impulse form but the
contains a high-voltage impulse current gener- 8/20 ps or 4/10 ps impulse is frequently applied
ator of adequate energy, as well as a precise for measurements of the transient grounding
voltage divider, current measuring shunt, and impedance.
double beam impulse oscillograph. The light- Apart from the ground to be measured the
ning current ranges between 1 kA and 1 0 0 kA test circuit has to have another auxiliary ground
and a typical grounding irnpedance is of the which carries the return current from the im-
order of 1 0 a. pulse generator. This ground is preferably of
Considering these typical requirements a the distributed type, such as a substation or a
mobile impulse generator which is normally laboratory grounding mesh, and its impedance
used by power utilities for testing of insulation must be significantly lower than that of the
coordination in high-voltage substations can measured ground.
be suitable for measurements of the transient The impulse generator is connected to this
grounding impedance. Another possible solu- ground through a high-current shunt. The unit
tion consists of installing a prototype ground response of the shunt has to comply to the re-
system in the soil near a high-voltage laboratory quirements of ANSI/IEEE Std 4-1978, IEEE
and connecting the laboratory generator, as Standard Techniques for High-Voltage Testing.
well as the measuring apparatus, t o the ground Voltage drop across the resistance of the
system under test. measured ground is measured by a voltage
The simultaneous oscilloscope recording of divider preferably of the resistive type and
the voltage drop across the grounding imped- designed for the expected voltage range. I t is
ance, and of the applied impulse current, essential to keep the shunt and the divider
IEEE
Std 81-1983 IEEE GUIDE FOR MEASURING EARTH RESISTIVITY, GROUND IMPEDANCE,

Legend
1 - HV impulse generator 4 - Shunt
2 - examined grounding 5 - Two beam impulse oscillograph
3 - HV divider 6 - impulse generator ground

Fig 1 2
Measuring Circuit for Recording the Transient
Impedance of Driven Grounds

grounding points directly connected to the of the transient grounding impedance, the
auxiliary ground by short, low-inductance measurements should bé performed at different
leads. impulse current shapes and amplitudes. Each
The divider measuring properties should com- set of recorder oscillograms permits plotting
ply with the requirements of ANSIIIEEE Std a family of the grounding impedance curves,
4-1978 and the conductor running from the which will characterize the performance of the
divider to the ground being measured should grounding at the high- 2nd low-impulse currents.
be kept as short as possible.
The simultaneous recording of the voltage
and cunent impulses is normally performed
with a double beam oscilloscope. The two 11. Model Tests
coaxial cables connecting the divider and the
shunt to the oscilloscope have to be of the 11.1 Purpose. The main purpose of a model
same length to avoid time lags between the test is to help predict the probable resistance to
recorded transients. This is a particularly true earth of a complex ground electrode or to
important requirement since the grounding predict the probable voltage gradient of a
impedance curve is plotted as a quotient of complex ground system [ l ] , [ I l ] , [13], [25],
instantaneous values of the recorded voltage which otherwise cannot be calculated ac-
and current and even a small shift of their curately.
respective time scales may result in a consider-
able error.
Taking into account the nonlinear character
11.2 Similarity Criteria and Limitations. The
work starts by establishing the earth structure
4
IEEE
AND EARTH SURFACE POTENTIALS OF A GROUND SYSTEM Std 81-1983

p . 1 0 TIMES ELECTRODES DlMENSlON


---l
5 Times
electrodes
dimensions

Minimum height
o£ the tank:
5 times the
model.
1 TO 10 kHz
GENERATOR

Fig 1 3
Electrolytic Tank

to be modeled; the reduced model will then 11.3 Instrumentation. The materials required
have to obey cei-tain laws [ l l ] : for model test are (see Fig 13):
(1) Al1 the geometrical dimensions of the
(1) A tank of nonconducting material
earth model and of the test electrode should be
(2) Various materials arranged adequately in
scaled according to one unique factor p~ .
the tank to constitute the layers of the earth to
(2) When the model consists of severa1 layers
be modelled. The top layer should preferably be
of soil, the ratio of each layer resistivity to a
water with some quantity of common salt or
reference layer should be equal to the ratio of copper sulfate t o achieve the desired resistivity.
their respective real life counterparts. The ratio The second layer could be simulated by a con-
of the real case to the model reference layer crete block of appropriate dimensions.
determines the resistivity scale factor pp. (3) A scale model of the ground to be tested.
When the above is completed the following (4) An alternating current source of power
precautions should be observed so as t o mini- with some means of varying the voltage. Use of
mize the errors caused by the finite size and a frequency in the range of 500 Hz to 1000 Hz
limitations of the electrolytic tank. aids in eliminating electrolytic polarization
(a) Alternating current should be used to which causes potential distortions.
prevent polarization of electrodes which would (5) A voltmeter with a minimum input im-
cause errors at low currents. pedance of 5 kC¿/V, or better, a potentiometer
(b) Current densities should be kept less with an oscilloscope null detector.
than 0.1 A/cm2 of electrode.
(6) A return path plate and a small wire
(c) The probe should be about 3 mm diam- probe.
eter round rod cut off square and should not
be immersed more than 3 mm.
(d) The model should be t o scale and large 11.4 Resistance Measurements
enough to simplify its manufacture and assure (1) Suspend the scale ground model and the
a reasonable accuracy, but should be small plate at A and B (AB should be at least 3 to 4
enough to be convenient. A 20 to 1 scale is times the model ground dimension).
often satisfactory. (2) Inject a small current I between A and B
(e) The tank dimension should not be small- (0.1 to 0.5 A).
er than five times the model's maximum dimen- (3) Locate the probe P between A and B so
sions. This will give error of less than 10% of that AP = 0.618 AB. Measure the voltage V
results obtained from an infinite tank. between P and A.
IEEE
Std 81-1983 IEEE GUIDE FOR MEASURING EARTH RESISTIVITY, GROUND IMPEDANCE,

(4) The scale model ground resistance is (see p~= Ired/Imodei (current)
Appendix C) :
be the modelling scale factors, then the real life
RA = V/I (Eq 8) resistance is: I
11.5 Potential Measurements. Using the model Rred = Rmodel 1 l ~ 1 l - 1 ~ (Eq 9)
ground as the reference potential (zero poten-
tial), the electrolyte surface potential at any and the real life potential is:
location can be measured simply by moving the v,,,, = vmodel
pIpp/pL
probe P on the surface of the electrolyte. When
a null detector and potentiometer are used,
R l ( R 1 + R 2 = R = constant) is adjusted so that
the current through the null detector% mini- 12. Instrumentation
mum. The measured potential VS is then in %:
R1/R, and in volts: R1VJR.
12.1 Ratio Ohmmeter. A commonly used in-
strument for measuring ground resistance is
11.6 Interpretation of Measurements. The shown in Fig 14.
model results must be transformed to the real Current from the hand-cranked direct-current
life case [ l l ] : generator is reversed periodically by the current
reverser and exists in the earth between ground
Let: X under test and current electrode C. The fall-
of-potential between X and the potential elec-
p L = Lreal /Lmodel (len@h)
trode P is rectified by the potential reverser,
pp = preal/pmodel (reference resistivity) which is on the same shaft, and therefore,

Fig 1 4
Ratio Ohmmeter

OHMS

D C GENERATOR
IEEE
AND EARTH SURFACE POTENTIALS OF A GROUND SYSTEM Std 81-1983

A C SOURCE

GROUND UNDER AUXlLlARY AUXlLlARY


TEST POTENTIAL CURRENT
GROUND GROUND

Fig 1 5
Double-Balance Bridge

operates in synchronism with the cument used. Some difficulty may be experienced in
reverser. The coils operate in a field provided obtaining a reading in an extreme case of a
by a permanent magnet. The current coil tends ground of less than 0.5 with stray voltages
to turn the pointer toward zero, while the po- of more than 1 0 V.
tential coil tends to turn the pointer toward a
higher ohm reading. The operating current
through these coils is furnished respectively by 12.2 Double-Balance Bridge. This bridge
the current through arid the voltage drop across method for measuring ground resistance is
the ground under test, therefore, the scale o£ shown in Fig 15.
the instrument can be calibrated in ohms. A In this method current from the alternating-
suitable range switch provides a divider to the current source exists in two parallel circuits.
scale values. The lower circuit includes fixed resistance A,
By connecting terminals P1 and C, (also P, electrode X under test, and auxiliary cument
and C,) together, the instrument becomes a electrode C. The upper circuit includes fixed
two-terminal ohmmeter and may be used in resistance B and an adjustable slide rheostat
any o£ the methods, but the separate connec- on which two sliders, S, and Sb, make contact.
tions to the test electrodes, as shown in Fig 14, With the detector switch closed to the left,
are preferred. For grounds over 1 the P1 and slider S, is adjusted until the detector shows
C1 terminals may be connected together to use a balance. The currents in the two branch
a common lead to the ground under test. circuits are then inversely proportional to re-
The synchronous reversing switch (combina- sistances A and B. The switch then is closed to
tion current and potential reverser) used in this the right, and slider Sb is adjusted until the
instrument makes it relatively insensitive to detector again shows a balance. The potential
stray voltages in the potential circuit. In most drop between X and P is then equal to the drop
cases a cranking speed, which eliminates the in portion Rb of the slide rheostat, and the
effect of relatively large stray voltages, can be resistance of the ground under test then is
IEEE
Std 81-1983 IEEE GUIDE FOR MEASURING EARTH RESISTIVITY, GROUND IMPEDANCE,

INSULATED SYNCHRONOUS
VIBRATOR RECTlFlER

POTENTIOMETER WlTH
CALIBRATED D l A L

U X l L l A R Y OR REFERENCE-
GROUNDS
POTENTIAL CURRENT

Fig 16
Single-Balance Transformer

given by In this instrument a battery is used to drive a


vibrator that has two sets of contacts. The first
set of contacts reverses the direction of primary
current t o a transformer that provides test cur-
rent between the current electrode and the
The scale over which Sb moves can be calibrated ground under test. The second set of contacts
to read R, directly. gives sense direction to the balancing galvanom-
In testing high-resistance grounds the alter- eter, which then can indicate whether the dial
nating-current source may be a vibrator operat- setting is low or high.
ing from dry cells, and the detector may be a When the slider of the potentiometer is ad-
telephone receiver or a solid-state detector. The justed until there is no potential between the
tone of the buzzer usually can be recognized slider and auxiliary electrode P, as shown by a
and balanced out even in the presence of con- galvanometer null, the portion of rheostat R 1
siderable background noise caused by stray bears a definite relationship to the resistance
alternating currents. Resistance at P merely of the ground under test. Therefore the poten-
tiometer can be calibrated in ohms with appro-
reduces the sensitivity of the detector. Exces-
priate multipliers provided by taps on the ratio
sive resistance at C may limit the range of
resistance that can be measured. The locations transformer as selected by the range switch.
of electrodes P and C are determined by the Since a negligible current exists in the potential
same considerations as in the fall-of-potential electrode circuit a t balance, the resistance of
method, given in 8.2.1.5. the potential electrode does not affect the
accuracy but does have an effect on the sensi-
12.3 Single-Balance Transformer. An instru- tivity of the galvanometer.
ment that uses a single balance to give a bridge The instrument is relatively insensitive to
type of measurement is shown schematically in
Fig 16.
stray voltages and only in an extreme case will
difficulty be experienced, (see 12.1). a
IEEE
AND EARTH SURFACE POTENTIALS OF A GROUND SYSTEM . Std 81-1983

r -----------
1
FROM STATION FREQUENCY
SERVICE VOLTMETER
SUPPLY

TEST 1 TEST CURRENT


BALANCING - GROUND
1

NETWORK
SHUNT

'
JATION FENCE
GROUND POlNT OF LARGEST
POWER TRANSFORMERS
I
Fig 1 7
Selective-Frequency Voltmeter-Ammeter Circuit

NOTE: The above three instruments are often equip- A simplified schematic diagram of the test
ped with a fifth terminal called the guard terminal. If connections for a selective-frequency voltmeter-
the test electrode ground resistance is high, currents
within an instrument may produce a small deviation ammeter circuit is given as Fig 17. The test cur-
of the sensitive galvanometer and so cause erroneous rent is measured by taking the voltage drop
readings. The guard terminal eliminates this error by
bypassing these leakage currents t o earth. across a 0.1 shunt and is monitored by an
ammeter while the voltmeter is being used to
measure the voltage between the potential
12.4 Ammeter-Voltmeter. There are no partic- electrode and the ground under test. This
ulas requirements for the ammeter in any of arrangement provides a form of ratio measure-
the measurement methods. The voltmeter re- ment and thus limits the errors to scale errors
quirements, when there is no stray voltage, are of the instrument and ratio errors of the shunts
simply that the impedance of the voltmeter be and multipliers.
high in relation t o the resistance of the poten-
tia1 electrode and the test leads. 12.5 Induced Polarization Units. This type of
The impedance of the potential electrode instrument is widely used in geoelectrical
must be considered when measuring the voltage prospecting. I t is a highly sensitive apparatus
caused by current into the measured ground. which is well suited for earth resistivity and
I t is obvious that less error is introduced when resistance measurements. The instrument is a
using a high-impedance voltmeter, and this four-terminal type with, however, a different
error will become negligible when an electronic measuring circuitry and power source.
type of voltmeter is used. The instrument is composed of two units, the
When there is a stray current in the ground to receiver and the transmitter as shown in Fig 18.
be measured and it produces a voltage which is
Fig 18
large compared with the voltage caused by the
Induced Polarization Units
test current, this stray voltage must be balanced
out, both in magnitude and phase, before test
current is applied. The voltmeter in this case
should be frequency selective, because only
one frequency can be balanced out. Usually the
only case where such a selective frequency volt-
meter is required is in the measurement of a
large grounding system with an impedance of
less than 0.5 a.
IEEE
Std 81-1983 IEEE GUIDE FOR MEASURING EARTH RESISTIVITY, GROUND IMPEDANCE,

M = Tower A = Ground wire


S = Probe RM = Tower ground resistance
H = Return electrode Rs = Probe ground resistance
G = High frequency generator RE = Return electrode ground resistance
E = High frequency receiver

Fig 19
High-Frequency Meter

The two units (potential and current) are the inherent noise suppression capability of
completely decoupled which is of great utility this system, surveys can be conducted much
to eliminate coupling between the test leads. closer to sources of spurious electrical noise
12.5.1 Transmitter . The receiver measuring such as power lines, and deeper effective pene-
circuitry is triggered ON and OFF by the cur- tration can be obtained without increasing
rent pulses injected by the transmitter. Thus no power requirements. Also the coupling between
direct cable connection is required between the leads can be completely eliminated. Finally,
receiver and transmitter. The transmitter passes the light weight and low-power requirements
a strong direct current into the ground through allow for the maximum field mobility and
two electrodes and then abruptly interrupts versatility of operation.
this current. (Usually adjustable pulse duration
is 2 S, 4 S, or 8 S cuirent ON and current OFF
periods.) 12.6 High-Frequency Earth Resistance Meter.
12.5.2 Receiver. Recent receivers are highly This relatively new instrument described in
sensitive integrated circuitry measuring devices, detail in [32] is intended for measuring the
thus reducing the weight and power require- ground resistance of transmission line towers
ments of time domain induced polarization
, (not equipped with continuous counterpoises)
equipment. Usually the main design features of with the static wires ON (insulated or not).
the receiver console include : Danger will be avoided as work shall not be
(1)Automatic self potential compensation done near energized conductors. For operating
(2) Remote (ground) triggering special filters principle see Fig 19.
for ac noise suppression The high-frequency meter is fully transistor-
(3) Curve shape discrimination and automatic ized. A Ni-Cd battery is used as the power
integral summations for random noise suppres- source. The generator is a self-excited power
sion. oscillator at 25 kHz. The loop current i flows
12.5.3 Main Advantages. The units allow the through the current electrode H and the
field engineer to operate the receiver on the tower's ground M. The high-frequency receiver
survey lines, and on occasion, allow the use of compares the measured voltage with a reference
multiple receivers with one transmitter, thus internal voltage.
greatly enhancing the survey efficiency. Due to I t should be borne in mind that this meter
IEEE
AND EARTH SURFACE POTENTIALS OF A GROUND SYSTEM Std 81-1983

uses the fall-of-potential method (the effect of


6 the static wire is eliminated by use of high-
frequency and neutralizing circuits). Therefore,
adequate spacing between the test electrodes
must be used in order t o obtain reliable results.

13. Practica1 Aspects o£ Measurements

Performing resistivity and resistance tests can SLlDlNG HAMMER


be physically exhausting especially if poor
equipment is used during measurements. High-
quality measuring instiuments should be selec- GROUND ROD
ted in order t o obtain reliable data. Also, in
many cases, special auxiliary equipment rnay
be necessary to drive rods, t o measure distances,
MOVABLE CHUCK
and wind-up test leads.
13.1 Selection of Auxiliary Electrodes. The
most practical electrodes ase gsound rods. Steel
gsound rods are preferred t o lightweight alumi-
num rods since aluminum rods rnay be damaged
if a hammer is used to drive them in hard soil.
Screw type rods should not be used. The screw
type rod fluffs up the soil and creates air in the
area of the rod above the screw which results in
@ high contact resistances. The driven rod com-
pacts the soil giving minimum contact resis- Fig 20
tance. Chuck and Sliding Hammer
The current electrode resistance is in series
with the power source and is, therefore, one of
the factors governing the testing current. If this 13.3 Selection of Auxiliary Equipment. The
cument is low, it rnay be necessasy to obtain a following additional equipment rnay be useful
lower current electrode resistance by driving to ease and speed up the measurements.
additional gsound rods. In rocky soil it is a 13.3.1 Hammers. In normal soils, hand ham-
good practice to drive rods at an angle with mers (2 to 4 kg of mass) are satisfactory for
respect to the vertical. Inclined rods will slide driving the rods to depths of 2 m-3 m. The
over the top of a rock. driving force should be axial to the rod in order
The device used to measure the potential to avoid undue whipping.
difference should have an interna1 resistance A practical type of hammer useful for the
which is large compared with the potential prevention of whipping consists of a chuck and
electrode resistance. If this is not the case, sliding hammer (Fig 20). This device has the
additional ground rods rnay be required t o advantage that the work rnay be at a leve1 con-
lower the potential-electrode resistance. venient to the individual making the test with-
out using an auxiliary platform. Also the blow
13.2 Selection of Test Leads. Flexible leads is delivered to the rod at a point not fas from
must be used since during the measurements the ground line.
the leads will have to be wound up several When normal hand driving is not possible
times. The temperature at the site must also be (hard or frozen soils, etc) it rnay be necessary
considered t o determine the adequate test lead. t o use mechanically operated hammers. These
The lead insulation should not freeze or crack can be operated by either electric, pneumatic,
because of low temperatures. The test lead or gasoline engines.
@ impedance should be low especially when 13.3.2 Distance Measurements. When the dis-
testing low impedance ground systems. tances are not large a measuring tape or a
IEEE
Std 81-1983 IEEE GUIDE FOR MEASURING EARTH RESISTIVITY, GROUND IMPEDANCE,

-.INSTRUMENTS

MAY BE EQUIPPED LTEST


LEAD R E E L
WlTH WHEELS

Fig 21
Test Table

marked chain rnay be used conveniently. When but the self and mutual impedance of the leads
the distances are larger, the use of an odometer %e increased and emors rnay be introduced.
rnay be more practica1 and less time consuming. Also if an impedance test is performed, the
Extremely long distances rnay be read from reactance component will be different from the
appropriately scaled charts or maps of the area. 60 Hz value. Usually a compromise using fre-
13.3.3 Lead Reels and Mobile Cart. Moving quencies in the order of 80 Hz is considered
the test equipment from one 'location to adequate.
another and winding up test leads rnay be If direct current is used, the effects of induc-
simplified if a suitable mobile trolley is avail- tance and mutual impedance are eliminated,
able. but electrolysis can be very troublesome. This
The mobile trolley should be light and com- problem can be solved by reversing the direct
pact for ease of handling. Fig 21 shows a pos- current periodically. The effects of inductance
sible design for a convenient container equipped and mutual impedance are then evident only as
with four lead reels which could be spring transients which will be negligible, if the time
cranked to wind up the test leads. The testing constants of the various circuits are sufficiently
instruments are located on the upper shelf. The low. Periodically reversed direct current, with a
dc battery (if required), hammers, clips, and complete break in the circuit between reversals
other handy tools rnay be stored in the lower is the best power source for resistance or
shelf. resistivity measurements. However, it is not
adequate for impedance measurements.
13.4 Testing Precautions. The most frequent
problem experienced during testing is caused
by stray cuments flowing in the earth and by 13.5 Large Substations. The fall-of-potential
mutual coupling between leads. method will give satisfactory results if the
The conduction through the soil is electro- spacing between the grounding system under
lytic in nature, and back voltages can develop test and the test electrodes is large enough. I t
at the auxiliary electrodes. An easy way to rnay happen that for large substations, adequate
eliminate electrolytic effects is to use alternat- spacings are difficult to achieve using reels of
ing test cuments. If the current is of power wire. In these cases an outgoing line rnay be
frequency, electrolysis is not completely de-energized and used to inject test current
eliminated and stray alternating current at into remote earth. Telephone cables rnay also
power frequencies rnay influence the results. be used in some cases [30], as potential lead
At higher frequencies electrolysis is negligible only, provided the shielding factor is known.
IEEE
AND EARTH SURFACE POTENTIALS OF A GROUND SYSTEM Std 81-1983

- L

0 (The following Appendixes are not a part of IEEE Std 81-1983, IEEE Guide for Earth Resistivity, Ground Imped-
ance, and Earth Surface Potentials of a Ground System.)

Appendix A
Nonuniform Soils

Al. Two-Layer Soil Apparent Resistivity. With A resistivity determination using the Wenner
this model the earth is characterized (see Fig method (see 7.2) then results in an apparent
A l ) by its: resistivity which is a function of the electrode
First layer height, h separation, a. It is given [42] by:
First layer resistivity, p1
Deep layer resistivity, p2
The reflection coefficient A3. Ground Rod Resistance in a Two-Layer
Soil. The ground resistance of a rod length 1
and radius r buried in the first layer of a two-
layer soil is given by [39] :
A resistivity determination using the Wenner
method (see 7.2) results in an apparent resistiv-
ity which is a function of the electrode separa-
tion, a. In terms of the above parameters the Where K is the reflection coefficient defined
apparent resistivity can be shown 1391 to be: above.
NOTES: (1) Since O < K d 1 and h 9 1 only the first
few terms of the infinite series are significant.
( 2 ) K = O corresponds t o the uniform soil model with

If at a given cite the ground resistance of a


7////
I
I
I 1
I
I
A \\\\\ rod is measured for various lengths 1, , 12, 4,. . .
La-cCca-rCca-4 ln (at least three values), the measured values
Pi TOP L A Y E R h R 1 , R2,R3,. . . Rn will provide a set of equa-
I tions of type (A4) which can be solved to give
the unknown values of pl , K and h.
It may happen in some cases that absurd, or
p, DEEP L A Y E R
(when more than three measurements are
made) contradictory results are obtained. This
Fig A l indicates either insufficient precision in the
Two-Layer Earth measurements or that the assumption of a uni-
form or two-layer soil was not ai adequate
A2. Exponential Variation of Resistivity. With approximation. It is preferable then, to use the
this model the earth is characterized by its: four point or Wenner method with severa1
Resistivity near the surface, pl values of probe separation and to interpret the
a Resistivity at great depth, p2
A constant h
results by visual inspection of the apparent
resistivity curve (see 7.2).
IGEE
Std 81-1983 IEEE GUIDE FOR MEASURING EARTH RESISTIVITY, GROUND IMPEDANCE,

Appendix B
Determination of an Earth Model

This Appendix is intended t o assist the engi- T, (5, y being positive values and small enough
neer in obtaining, from the measured resistiv- to guarantee a solution with the desired accu-
ity data, the earth model which best fits the racy. Normally values which lead t o the follow-
data. The earth model is limited to a two-layer ing solutions are satisfactory:
soil configuration (see Fig A l ) .
Let p0 be the apparent resistivity value as
measured by the four-probe or Wenner method
and p be the calculated resistivity value assum-
A,, = -0.0051 p l l (S)/%
ing that earth is a two-layer configuration.
Both p0 and p are functions of the probe spac-
ing. A p is given by (Eq A2).
Let $(p, ,K,h) be an error function given by:

where
N = total number of measured resistivity values Using Eq B3 and Eq B4 the following equation
with probe spacing, a, as the parameter. is obtained
In order to obtain the best fit $ must be min-
imum. To determine the values of p, K, and h
which minimize $ the method of steepest
descent [19] is used.
p is calculated using Eq 2 and, assuming initial
values
pi(1), p2(l)and h ( l ) ,A$ is calculated using Eq B6.
If l A $ l >e, the desired accuracy , the calcula-
tion is iterated.
At iteration k the new values are given by:

In order t o make sure that the calculations


converge t o the desired solution, the values of The iterative calculations stop when A$ as
Ap,, Ap,, Ah should be such that given (Eq B6) is such that:

E being the accuracy desired.


Ap,, Ap,, and Ah are calculated using Eq B5
which in turn requires the values of
IEEE
AND EARTH SURFACE POTENTIALS O F A GROUND SYSTEM Std 81-1983

In Eq B2 the values of

apiyap29 ah where :

are obtained from Eq A2 as follows:


and p,, p2, and h are the calculated values at
ap iteration K (Eq B7).
-- - 1.4
~ P I
5
n=l
[(1-n(t:2))(~-s)]
The method described in this Appendix is the
basis of a computer prograrn designed to deter-
mine the two-layer soil configuration which
-- best fits the data obtained in the field. Figure
a ~ 2 n=i 7.5 was obtained using this program.

Appendix C
Theory of the Fa11 of Potential Method

C1. Basic Definitions and Symbols C2. Derivation of the Fundamental Equations.
(1)When an electrode E does not conduct The problem
- is illustrated in Fig- C1.
a n i 'current into the soil and is located at large The current i in electrode P is assumed negli-
@ distances from any other current carrying elec- gible to I. At a given time t, culTent injected
trodes it's self potential E (or GPR) is zero into the ground through E, is assumed positive
(remote earth potential). and 1,collected by G, is assumed negative.
(2) If current I enters the soil through this
electrode its potential rises to = REI where Based on the definitions and symbols pre-
R~ is the electrode impedance. ~f 1 = 1A then sented previously the following relations hold:
@ = v ~ = R l~= .R E .
Therefore in the following V : designates the
potential rise of electrode E when 1 A enters
the soil through the electrode. VE is numerically
equal t o the electrode's impedance in ohms. where
(3) Assume, now that at some finite distance 1' = I A/1 A
from electrode E an electrode G injects a cur- Up and UE are the potentials or GPR (with
rent I into soil (E does not conduct any cur- respect to remote ground) of electrodes P and
rent). Because of the local earth potential rise, E respectively.
electrode E, initially at zero potential, will be The voltage V measured by the fall of poten-
at potential PZ (this phenomena is often called tia1 method is:
resistive coupling). If I = 1 A, then PZ = VÉ;
(numerically equal to the so called mutual
resistance between E and G).
(4) If electrode E carries 1A while simultane-
ously electrode G conducts also 1A, the poten-
VE is the potential rise of electrode E result-
ing from its own current of A. This is by
tia1 rise of electrode E will be VE + @. definition the impedance RE of electrode E.
The theoretical expressions which permit the Therefore, Eq C3 can be written as:
calculation of V : or E are complex and will
not be given in this Appendú except for simple V
earth and electrode configurations.
R = 7 = RE + ( y F - - @)/1 A. (Eq C4)
IEEE
Std 81-1983 IEEE GUIDE FOR MEASURING EARTH RESISTIVITY, GROUND IMPEDANCE,

Fig C1
Fali-of-Potential Method

and V; are functions of the spacing be- C5. Hemispherical Electrodes. If electrodes E
tween the electrodes (E, G and P), the electrode and G are hemispheres and their radii are small
configurations, and the soil characteristics. compared to x and D and if soil is uniform,
then the potential functions $, q, and $ are
C3. Uniform Soil. Let us define the following inversely proportional to the distance relative
functions q, @, and $ with respect to the coor- to the hemisphere center. If the origin of the
dinate system shown in Fig C1. (It is assumed axes is at the center of hemisphere E then,
that q, 4, and $ are only functions of distances Eq C8 becomes:
D and x):
G = q(D)
(Eq C6) The positive root of Eq C9 is the exact
~ 7 ) potential probe location xo :
According to Eq C4 the measured impedance
R = V/I will be equal to the true impedance RE
if : This is the usual 61.8% rule [8] . If the poten-
- - v;= O, that is: tia1 probe P is at location P, (E side, see Fig C1)
then D - x should be replaced by D + x in Eq
$(D - x) - - $(x) = 0 (Eq C8) C9. In this case the equation has complex roots
only. If P is at location P, (G side, see Fig C1)
C4. Identical Electrodes and Large Spacings. If then D - x should be replaced by x - D in Eq
electrodes E and G are identical @ = $ and if D C9. The positive root of Eq C9 is:
is large enough such that = q(D) % O then
condition Eq C8 becomes:
$(D - X )- $(x) = O
C6. General Case. If the soil is not uniform or
thus:
electrodes E and G have complex configura-
xo = DI2
tions, or both, then, the functions $, q, and $
that is, the probe should be located midway are not easy to calculate. In such cases, com-
between.E and G. puter solutions are generally required [14].
IEEE
AND EARTH SURFACE POTENTIALS OF A GROUND SYSTEM Std 81-1983

Appendix D
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