The apparent resistivity technique using half-space models has been employed in helicopter-borne resistivity mapping for twenty years. These resistivity algorithms yield the apparent resistivity from the measured in-phase and quadrature response arising from the flow of electrical conduction currents for a given frequency. However, these algorithms, which assume free-space magnetic permeability, do not yield a reliable value for the apparent resistivity in highly magnetic areas. This is because magnetic polarization also occurs, which modifies the electromagnetic (EM) response, causing the computed resistivity to be erroneously high. Conversely, the susceptibility of a magnetic half-space can be computed from the measured EM response, assuming an absence of conduction currents. However, the presence of conduction currents will cause the computed susceptibility to be erroneously low.
New methods for computing the apparent resistivity and apparent magnetic permeability have been developed for the magnetic conductive half-space. The in-phase and quadrature responses at the lowest frequency are first used to estimate the apparent magnetic permeability. The lowest frequency should be used to calculate the permeability because this minimizes the contribution to the measured signal from conduction currents. Knowing the apparent magnetic permeability then allows the apparent resistivity to be computed for all frequencies.
The resistivity can be computed using different methods. Because the EM response of magnetic permeability is much greater for the in-phase component than for the quadrature component, it may be better in highly magnetic environments to derive the resistivity using the quadrature component at two frequencies (the quad-quad algorithm) rather than using the in-phase and quadrature response at a single frequency (the in-phase–quad algorithm). However, the in-phase–quad algorithm has the advantage of dynamic range, and it gives credible resistivity results when the apparent permeability has been obtained correctly.