Doubling the Spectrum of Time-Domain Induced Polarization: Removal of Harmonic Noise and Self-Potential Drift
Abstract:The extraction of spectral information in the inversion process of time-domain (TD) induced polarization (IP) data is changing the use of the IP method. Data interpretation is evolving from a qualitative description of the soil, able only to discriminate the presence of contrasts in chargeability parameters, towards a quantitative analysis of the investigated media, which allows soil-type characterization.
Two major limitations restrict the extraction of the spectral information of TDIP data in the field: i) the difficulty of acquiring reliable early-time measurements, in the millisecond range and ii) the self-potential drift in the measured potentials distorting the shape of the late time IP decays, in the second range.
For measuring at early-times, we developed a new method for removing the powerline noise contained in the data through a model-based approach, localizing the fundamental frequency of the powerline signal in the full-waveform IP recordings. By this, we cancel both the fundamental signal and its harmonics. This noise cancellation allows the use of earlier and narrower gates, down to a few milliseconds after the current turn-off. Even earlier gates can be measured but they will be inductively “contaminated” which we at present want to avoid.
A proper removal of the self-potential drift present between the potential electrodes is essential for preserving the shape of the TD decays, especially for late times. Usually constant or linear drift-removal algorithms are used, but these algorithms fail in removing the background potentials due to the polarization of the electrodes previously used for current injection. We developed a drift-removal scheme that model the polarization effect and efficiently allows for preserving the shape of the IP decays.
The removal of both the harmonic noise and self-potential drift allows for doubling the usable range of TDIP data to more than three decades in time (corresponding to three decays in frequency), and will significantly advance the science and the applicability of the IP method in exploration and environmental geophysics.