Sensitivity of Deep-Towed Marine Electrical Resistivity Imaging Using Two-Dimensional Inversion: A Case Study on Methane Hydrate


Uncertain physical properties of methane hydrate (MH) above a bottom simulating reflector should be estimated for detecting MH-bearing formations. In contrast to general marine sediments, MH-bearing formations have a relatively high electrical resistivity. Therefore, marine electrical resistivity imaging (MERI) is a well-suited method for MH exploration. The authors conducted sensitivity testing of sub-seafloor MH exploration using a two-dimensional (2D) inversion algorithm with the Wenner, Pole-Dipole (PD) and Dipole-Dipole (DD) arrays. The results of the Wenner electrode array show the poorest resolution in comparison to the PD and DD arrays. The results of the study indicate that MERI is an effective geophysical method for exploring the sub-seafloor electrical structure and specifically for delineating resistive anomalies that may be present because of MH-bearing formations at a shallow depth beneath the seafloor.

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