Unstructured tetrahedral grids with local refinement facilitate the use of total-field solution approaches to geophysical electromagnetic (EM) forward problems. These approaches, when combined with the vector finite-element (FE) method and with refinement near transmitters and receivers, can give accurate solutions and can easily handle realistic models with complex geometry and topography. We have applied this approach to 3D forward modeling for fixed- and moving-loop configurations. MUMPS, a direct solver, was used to solve the linear system of equations generated by FE analysis. A direct solver is particularly suited to the moving-loop configuration for which the right side is different for every transmitter loop, but for which the coefficient matrix is unchanged. Therefore, the coefficient matrix need only be factorized once, and then the system can be solved efficiently for all different right sides. We compared our results with several typical scenarios from the literature: a conductive brick in a homogeneous half-space and a complex conductor at a vertical contact both for fixed-loop configurations, and a homogeneous half-space for a moving-loop configuration. We also evaluated results for the massive sulfide ore deposit of the Ovoid Zone at Voisey’s Bay, Labrador, Canada, for which we considered fixed- and moving-loop configurations. This model also provides an illustration of the complex vortex current systems that are generated by time-domain EM methods within highly conductive ore bodies in a resistive host.

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