Abstract

Shallow inhomogeneities can lead to severe problems in the interpretation of magnetotelluric (MT) data by shifting the MT apparent resistivity sounding curve by a scale factor, which is independent of frequency on the standard log-apparent-resistivity versus log-frequency display. The amount of parallel shift, commonly referred to as the MT static shift, can not be determined directly from conventionally recorded MT data at a single site. One method for measuring the static shift is a controlled-source measurement of the magnetic field. Unlike the electric field, the magnetic field is relatively unaffected by surface inhomogeneities. The controlled-source sounding (which may be a relatively shallow sounding made with lightweight equipment) can be combined with a deep MT sounding to obtain a complete, undistorted model of the earth. Inversions of the static shift-corrected MT data provide a much closer match to well-log resistivities than do inversions of the uncorrected data.The particular controlled-source magnetic-field sounding which we used was a central-induction Transient ElectroMagnetic (TEM) sounding. Correction for the static shift in the MT data was made by jointly inverting the MT data and the TEM data. A parameter which allowed vertical shifts in the MT apparent resistivity curves was included in the computer inversion to account for static shifts. A simple graphical comparison between the MT apparent resistivities and the TEM apparent resistivities produced essentially the same estimate of the static shift (within 0.1 decade) as the joint computer inversion.Central-induction TEM measurements were made adjacent to over 100 MT sites in central Oregon. The complete data base of over 100 sites showed an average static shift between 0 and 0.2 decade. However, in the rougher topography and more complex structure of the Cascade Mountain Range, the majority of the sites had static shifts of the order of 0.3 to 0.4 decade. The static shifts in this area are probably due to a combination of topography and surficial inhomogeneities. The TEM apparent resistivity (which is used to estimate the unshifted MT apparent resistivity) does not necessarily agree with either the transverse electric (TE) or the transverse magnetic (TM) MT polarization. TEM apparent resistivity may occur between the two, or may agree with one of the two polarizations, or may lie outside the MT polarizations.

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