Abstract

This paper discusses a new method for the investigation of self potentials (SP) based on induced current sources. The induced current sources are due to divergences of the convection current which is driven, in turn, by a primary flow, either heat or fluid. As a result of using this approach there is a shift in emphasis toward the vector flow field and its interaction with current cross-coupling structure when compared with the total potential approach of Nourbehecht (1963) which emphasized the primary flow potential and the voltage cross-coupling. This shift in emphasis is advantageous because it is analogous to the actual physical processes. For example, fluid flow in the ground gives rise to drag (convection) currents, and the interaction of the convection currents with the electrical structure gives rise to the electrical potentials (SP). This simple physical picture should aid in developing a better intuitive understanding of the generation of SP effects.The convective current approach is easily adapted to numerical modeling techniques, as illustrated by its implementation using a two-dimensional (2-D) transmission surface algorithm. When the primary flow is driven by the gradient of a potential, joint modeling of the primary flow and the resultant SP is possible with this algorithm.Examples of the SP effects generated by point sources of the primary flow in the presence of simple geometrical structures show the diversity of the possible responses. The various responses can be understood in terms of the distributions of the induced current sources caused by the primary flow.The results from field studies at Red Hill Hot Springs, Utah, are used in an example of the joint modeling of thermal and SP data.

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