A controlled-source audio-frequency magnetotelluric (CSAMT) survey was used to detect geological structures beneath the thick quaternary formation in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, northern China. Two main CSAMT survey lines with 182 survey sites were recorded. A two-dimensional (2D) inversion technique was used to interpret the CSAMT data. The inversion results suggested that: 1) there are four main buried faults named F1, F2, F3, and F4 with dip angles about 65° across the survey line from west to east, the fault displacements of these faults are about 230 m, 180 m, 220 m and 200 m, respectively; 2) the depth of the bedrocks decrease from 1600 to 500 m along the survey lines; and 3) from top to bottom, there are four major layers in the survey area that include the upper layer with the resistivity less than 40 ohm-m represents unconsolidated sediments in the Quaternary formation, a second layer with the resistivity range from 40 to 120 ohm-m represents mudstone and sandstone, a third layer with the resistivity range from 120 to 280 ohm-m represents coal measure strata in the Permian and Carboniferous and a bottom layer with the resistivity higher than 280 Ω·m represents limestone in Ordovician. The CSAMT method is an effective technique for exploring buried fault of several hundred meters deep in metropolitan environment.

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