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An electrical crevasse detector

John Call Cook
An electrical crevasse detector
Geophysics (October 1956) 21 (4): 1055-1070


Numerous fatal encounters with large crevasses concealed by bridges of drifted snow have occurred on the Greenland icecap and elsewhere. In response to an urgent need for rapid and reliable means of crevasse detection, a promising geophysical method has now been developed for the Department of Defense. This method is analogous to the four-electrode method of measuring earth resistivities. It is different in that an alternating dielectric displacement-current field is employed rather than a field of conduction current since the ice medium is essentially a nonconductor. As a result, basic differences in technique are necessary. The systems tested in Greenland and Antarctica, to date, which employ this method, continuously indicate or record the capacitive transfer reactance between pairs of electrode sleds or vehicles. Systems have been operated successfully while in motion at surface speeds up to 20 miles per hour. Pronounced and distinctive electrical anomalies have been obtained at every crevasse tested to date. Typical crevasse-detector recordings and details of the equipment and techniques used are presented. Some potential applications of the mutual-capacitance method in mineral prospecting and other fields are suggested.

ISSN: 0016-8033
EISSN: 1942-2156
Coden: GPYSA7
Serial Title: Geophysics
Serial Volume: 21
Serial Issue: 4
Title: An electrical crevasse detector
Author(s): Cook, John Call
Pages: 1055-1070
Published: 195610
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Tulsa, OK, United States
Accession Number: 1959-006376
Categories: Applied geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from Bibliography and Index of North American Geology, U. S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 1959
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