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

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.

1D Geophysical Resistivity Survey: Vertical Electrical Sounding

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.)

Switch Box Grid

New Product

The all new Switch Box Grid is used to connect electrodes using wires terminated with banana plugs.


The Switch Box Grid is available for the SuperSting WiFi and the SuperSting R8 models, it is not compatible with the SuperSting R1 instrument.



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

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. 

The Exploration Of Aggregate Materials Using Geotechnical Techniques

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:

Behind The Scenes Of Groundwater Exploration With Electrical Resistivity

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).