SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1970

Suggested Method for Subsurface Testing by Electrical Resistivity Measurements


The electrical resistivity method constitutes a procedure for obtaining subsurface information from surface measurements. The goal is to determine the structure of the subsurface layers of soil and rock, or the location of water table, or the location of sand or gravel deposits, or the location of fault zones. This method works upon the known fact that electrical resistivity of earth materials will decrease with increasing values of (a) moisture content and/or (b) salinity or free ion content of the connate moisture. The method is capable of yielding the sequence or relative positions with depth of the various subsurface layers, plus an estimate of depths to the layers. An improved estimate of depth can be obtained if calibration readings can be taken at locations with known depth structure.

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Van Zelst, TW
Silltest Inc., Evanston, Ill
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Developed by Committee: D18
Pages: 32–35
DOI: 10.1520/STP38467S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5570-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0051-0