Abstract

Electrical conductivity of is one of the fundamental geophysical properties of rock formations and can be measured at field and laboratory scales. A recent airborne geophysical survey of the Isle of Wight and part of the adjacent mainland has provided an assessment of the near-surface (close to outcrop) electrical conductivities associated with Palaeogene and Cretaceous formations. This study examines the degree to which the high-resolution survey data contain distinctive geological and lithological signatures. The geostatistical nature of the conductivity distributions is examined in relation to two existing sedimentary bedrock schemes involving lithostratigraphical and simpler lithological descriptions. A close association between conductivity and bedrock geology is evident. It is then demonstrated how the central moments and dispersion statistics of the distributions may be used to predict the continuous, bedrock conductivity distribution across a large area of southern England, containing, as it does, a high population density and extensive infrastructure. The effectiveness of the method is demonstrated using the survey data obtained on the mainland and an existing database of vertical electric soundings.

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