Exploration Geophysics Exploration Geophysics Society
Journal of the Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Improving bitumen detection in resistivity surveys by using induced polarisation data

Seyyed Reza Mashhadi 1 2 Kamran Mostafaei 1 Hamidreza Ramazi 1
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

1 Department of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic), 424 Hafez Ave, 15875-4413 Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran.

2 Corresponding author. Email: Reza.mashhadi93@yahoo.com

Exploration Geophysics - https://doi.org/10.1071/EG17032
Submitted: 2 November 2016  Accepted: 6 August 2017   Published online: 12 September 2017

Abstract

This paper investigates the use of induced polarisation (IP) and resistivity methods to characterise bitumen deposits in western Iran. Specifically we explore the Barreh-palang bitumen deposit in Gilan-gharb, Kermanshah province, Iran. These deposits are mainly found in vertical structures and, in some cases, complicated fault and fracture structures. Additionally, the hydrogeophysical environment adds complexity due to elevated groundwater levels that are of moderate to high salinity. Both resistivity and IP data were recorded using a combined resistivity sounding and profiling (CRSP) array with potential electrode spacing of 5 m in four profiles. Several anomalous responses were detected. For several of these responses, the bitumen-rich zone was difficult to distinguish from other responses without the IP data, implying that resistivity alone is not always sufficient for detection of bitumen, especially in complex geological situations. Interestingly, we also show that the presence of saline water was useful to assist in detecting the target in some situations.

Key words: CRSP array, induced polarisation, natural bitumen (pyrobitumen), resistivity, saline groundwater.


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