Abstract

Lenses of water-saturated unfrozen rocks (taliks) in permafrost are important sources of freshwater in high-latitude regions. Taliks stand out against the host frozen rocks in much lower resistivity and thus are detectable by resistivity surveys. TEM soundings are especially efficient in this application as they can go without galvanic grounding, have small offsets, and are sensitive to buried conductors. Early-time TEM data in the Taz area of the Yamal-Nenets district bear strong effects of fast-decaying inductively induced polarization (IIP), which rules out the use of nonpolarizable earth assumption for their interpretation. The TEM responses are inverted by means of the TEM-IP software using the model of a polarizable earth with Cole–Cole complex frequency-dependent conductivity. The resulting earth model mainly includes three layers, with a 100 to 250 m thick highly resistive polarizable upper layer. The polarization parameters of the layer (chargeability, time constant and exponent) are typical of frozen sedimentary rocks, while the presence of a talik reduces notably the effective resistivity and chargeability. This feature can be used as a guide to taliks, as it was confirmed by TEM surveys and subsequent drilling.

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