Sub-seafloor resistivity sensing using a vertical electrode configuration

Takumi Ueda*, Yuji Mitsuhata, Motoharu Jinguji, Hisatoshi Baba

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


There is growing interest in marine direct current (DC) resistivity methods for sub-seafloor exploration of a broad range of geophysical and geological targets. To address this, we have developed a new marine DC method with a vertical electrode configuration (VEC). Compared to conventional marine DC methods that use a horizontal electrode configuration, the shape and position of our VEC cable can be controlled relatively easily. Therefore, the VEC is suitable for operations in regions of steep bathymetry and for expeditious sub-seafloor resistivity exploration. In this study, we introduce a water-resistant electrode array cable and an onshore multichannel DC measurement system for stable and rapid data acquisition. To evaluate the performance and efficiency of the new system, we conducted field experiments in the shallow water zone at Shimizu Port, Suruga Bay, Japan. In order to quantitatively analyze the VEC-DC data, we adopt a 1-D numerical modeling code that computes the electric potential and apparent resistivity generated by a point and dipole current source used in the VEC-DC measurement. These can be placed at any position with an arbitrary electrode configuration in a multilayered space, including seawater and sub-seafloor layers. We also develop an inversion code for the VEC-DC data based on a simulated annealing (SA) optimization and applied this to the field data. The observed data is of sufficiently good quality to be used for inversion, and the SA result demonstrates that the proposed VEC-DC system is able to estimate the sub-seafloor resistivity structure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
JournalEarth, Planets and Space
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Direct current method
  • Marine exploration
  • Seafloor resistivity
  • Vertical electrode configuration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Space and Planetary Science


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