Blog | Advanced Geosciences Inc

Inversion Modeling In Geophysics: The Why & How

Posted by markus on Jan 19, 2017

Inversion is the mathematical process of calculating cause from a set of observations. In resistivity work, it is used to calculate the resistivity of different formations in the ground from a set of readings taken at the surface or between boreholes. 

In geophysics, an electrical resistivity survey is conducted to map the subsurface of the earth. The measurements are performed using four electrodes placed in contact with the earth. Two are for injecting a current, and the...

7 Types Of Resistivity Instruments & Equipment You Need (& Why)

Posted by markus on Jan 18, 2017

Have you ever prepared for a vacation, only to arrive at your destination and realize you’d neglected to pack important attire and equipment for your holiday? Recently, in my haste to prepare for a trip, I didn’t make a list and found myself in this very situation—I ended up wearing wool sweaters and jeans in an 80-degree climate. 

While this may seem like a silly example—it was just a few days—not knowing what you need to bring to a survey site has much bigger ramifications. If you bring the wrong geophysical instruments and equipment for a survey, you may not get the best data, or...

Detecting Karst At Friesenhahn Cave Using 3D Electrical Resistivity

Posted by markus on Jan 12, 2017

Dr. Keith N. Muhlestein, PG, REM, from the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Environmental Science and Engineering department, used AGI equipment for an electrical resistivity survey to image Karst regions within Friesenhahn Cave in Texas. 


Friesenhahn Cave is located near the Balcones Escarpment along the Edwards Plateau of central Texas in northern Bexar County. It is well known as a Pleistocene epoch predator cave. It contains an exceptional variety of megafauna fossils including ...

2D Resistivity Surveys: The Benefits, Limitations, & Technology

Posted by markus on Jan 04, 2017

In the 1980s and early 1990s, geophysicists became largely disenchanted with electrical resistivity because of the inadequacies of Vertical Electrical Sounding (VES). Specifically, the VES method assumes that the imaged geology is horizontally layered and that each layer is homogeneous. Of course, this often isn’t the case, causing some project managers (and their clients) to become fed up with the unusable results.

Around this time, we created the Sting R1—the industry’s first 2D electrical resistivity imaging instrument—and tested the instrument on what is now called ...

1D Geophysical Resistivity Survey: Vertical Electrical Sounding

Posted by markus on Dec 16, 2016

Throughout most of the 20th century, Vertical Electrical Sounding (VES) was the dominant geophysical resistivity method. It has been used all over the world for three primary purposes: geotechnical investigation, groundwater exploration, and mineral exploration. VES is performed using either the Wenner electrode configuration described in the ASTM G57 standard or using the Schlumberger electrode configuration. (The Schlumberger method is most commonly used for groundwater and mineral exploration, because it is less labor intensive than the Wenner method.)

Below, we’ll describe VES’s...

In-Depth Descriptions Of 3 Soil Resistivity Testing Techniques

Posted by markus on Nov 22, 2016

Soil resistivity testing is performed for a variety of important applications, including:

  • Testing grounding grids: Grounding grids are primarily used in industrial settings—like electrical substations—where expensive machinery needs to be protected. The U.S. National Electric Code sets forth that every substation must have at least one grounding rod to protect equipment from lightning damage and to ensure that a stray current from the neutral doesn’t electrocute a person nearby.
  • Cathodic protection: Cathodic protection is a way to protect underground or...

Determining Groundbed Location For Cathodic Protection: What You Need To Know

Posted by markus on Nov 17, 2016

Cathodic protection is a method used to reduce steel oxidation through an electrochemical process. Cathodic protection is used to protect buried or submerged pipelines, bridges, and large steel structures from corrosion, breakdown, and rust when an electrolyte (like water with salt and minerals) is present. The electrolyte serves as a conduit for the electron flow from the anode to the cathode. In steel structures where no electrolyte is present (like a steel building), they are best protected by galvanizing (zinc coating) or simply painting. 

For small steel structures, anode...

The Exploration Of Aggregate Materials Using Geotechnical Techniques

Posted by markus on Nov 16, 2016

Aggregate materials—like sand, gravel, crushed stone, slag, and recycled concrete—provide bulk and strength to concrete or asphalt. Large aggregate quarries and sand and gravel pits are located around most populated areas because of the high cost of transporting aggregate. (In fact, the cost of transportation from the mine to the consumer may even be higher than the actual cost of the aggregate.)

There are many different types of aggregate materials found in various geographic locations:

  • Alluvial deposits are clay, sand and gravel beds deposited by flowing water. These...

When & Why To Use ASTM G57 For Soil Testing

Posted by markus on Nov 15, 2016

The ASTM G57 standard (also known as the four-pin Wenner method) is used to determine the properties of soil. 

Soil tests can be performed in many ways and for a number of reasons.

  • In agricultural applications, a soil test may be useful for analyzing nutrients and moisture content.
  • In environmental analysis, soil testing is used to detect hazardous material present in the ground.
  • In geotechnical investigations, soil tests may involve cone penetrometer tests to examine certain soil properties.
  • In laboratory settings, soil tests are performed to...

Behind The Scenes Of Groundwater Exploration With Electrical Resistivity

Posted by markus on Nov 14, 2016

Early Methods Of Groundwater Exploration

To best understand how electrical resistivity surveys for groundwater exploration work today, it’s important to understand where resistivity testing began. 

Brothers Conrad and Marcel Schlumberger performed the very first investigation of how electrical current moves through the ground and what you can detect using an electrical resistivity survey in the early 1900s. From their research came what is now one of the most common methods of groundwater exploration, vertical electrical sounding (VES).

VES uses four electrodes...