Abstract

The audiofrequency magnetotelluric (AMT) method has been used to study permafrost thickness near Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T. in the Mackenzie Delta. In the frequency range of 10 Hz–10 kHz the permafrost behaves as a simple resistive layer over a conductive layer. This simple two-layer model can be inverted by asymptotic models to give a unique value for the thickness of the highly resistive frozen layer. In areas of simple layering, these results correlate well with drilling. In areas of sharp lateral variations in resistivity, depths tend to be underestimated. Unlike other electrical methods, AMT is not hampered by the presence of a surface melt layer in the summer if the conductivity–thickness product of this 'active layer' is less than about 0.03 mho (0.03 S).

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