Marine controlled-source electromagnetics (CSEM) has become an established exploration tool in the hydrocarbon industry over the last decade; however, this is not the case for land-based CSEM. A possible reason is the perception that electromagnetic field energy traveling through air masks target responses much more than for marine surveys in which the “airwave” energy is attenuated by the conductive water. Various strategies for mitigating air-wave effects have been proposed recently (Løseth et al., 2010; Chen and Alumbaugh, 2011). In this contribution, we focus on other problems limiting the use of land-based CSEM. These include logistical and technical challenges related to high-power current transmission, and the high levels of cultural electromagnetic noise typical of target areas located in populated regions.

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