Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

The Spontaneous Potential (SP) Log

January 01, 1994


The spontaneous potential tool measures natural electrical potentials that occur in boreholes. The "battery" mechanism is caused by the drilling of the borehole with drilling mud that has a different salinity from formation waters. The invasion of formations by mud filtrate results in the juxtaposition of two aqueous solutions with different ion concentrations. Ions diffuse from the more concentrated solution (typically formation water) to the more dilute. The ion flow is electrical current, with an associated potential measured in millivolts. The cumulative potential is caused by several effects: the electrochemical components of a liquid-junction potential and a shale membrane potential, together with a minor electrokinetic potential.

You do not currently have access to this article.

Figures & Tables


SEPM Short Course Notes

Geological Log Interpretation

John H. Doveton
John H. Doveton
Kansas Geological Survey, University of Kansas
Search for other works by this author on:
SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 1994




Citing Books via

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal