Abstract

Surficial bodies can severely distort magnetotelluric (MT) apparent resistivity data to arbitrarily low frequencies. This distortion, known as the MT static shift, is due to an electric field generated from boundary charges on surficial inhomogeneities, and persists throughout the entire MT recording range. Static shifts are manifested in the data as vertical, parallel shifts of log-log apparent resistivity sounding curves, the impedance phase being unaffected. Using a three-dimensional (3-D) numerical modeling algorithm, simulated MT data with finite length electrode arrays are generated. Significant static shifts are produced in this simulation; however, for some geometries they are impossible to identify.Techniques such as spatial averaging and electromagnetic array profiling (EMAP) are effective in removing static shifts, but they are expensive, especially for correcting a previously collected MT data set. Parametric representation and use of a single invariant quantity, such as the impedance tensor determinant, are only useful in limited circumstances and can lead the MT interpreter astray. Transient electromagnetic (TEM) sounding data are relatively inexpensive to collect, do not involve electric field measurements, and are only affected at very early times by surficial bodies. Hence, using TEM data acquired at the same location provides a natural remedy for the MT static shift.We describe a correction scheme to shift distorted MT curves to their correct values based on 1-D inversion of a TEM sounding taken at the same location as the MT site. From this estimated 1-D resistivity structure an MT sounding is computed at frequencies on the order of 1 Hz and higher. The observed MT curves are then shifted the position of the computed curve, thus eliminating static shifts. This scheme is accurate when the overlap region between the MT and TEM sounding is 1-D, but helpful information can be gleaned even in multidimensional environments. Other advantages of this scheme are that it is straightforward to ascertain if the correction scheme is being accurately applied and it is easy to implement on a personal computer.

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