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Earth Crust Investigation


Investigation of Geological Properties of the Earth Crust with the Use of Powerful Controlled Sources of Electromagnetic Field for Fundamental Research and Earthquakes Prediction

Tech Area / Field

  • INS-OTH/Other/Instrumentation

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
MIFI, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • Center for International Environmental Cooperation (INENCO), Russia, St Petersburg\nKola Science Center / Geological Institute, Russia, Murmansk reg., Apatity


  • Solid Earth Physics Institute, Greece, Athens

Project summary

The purpose of the project is to develop the method of the deep electromagnetic sounding method with the use of powerful controlled sources of low frequency low-frequency electromagnetic fields within the frequency range of 0.1-300 Hz to solve the problems of fundamental and applied geophysics and the earthquake prediction.

The method of the deep electromagnetic sounding developed within the frame of the Project would be used for the prospecting of natural resources, for the choose of burial places of radioactive waste as well as those for antiseismic construction such as atomic power stations and for vast water reservoirs. Also the method would find use for the monitoring of seismic activity for the purpose of earthquake prediction.

During the Project fulfillment two sources of the electromagnetic field will be created using the Kolenergo (Russia) and Krimenergo (Ukraine) Electrical Transmission Lines as well as measuring and data processing systems.

General information

In development of the deep electromagnetic sounding techniques is of grate importance for decision of problems of fundamental and applied geophysics and the earthquake prediction. With the help of these methods the models are developed for electrical structure of the Earth crust and Upper mantle, the mapping is done for geological structures. The results are used for deep forecast of ore and oil-gas deposits involving those of sites for long-term antiseismic constructions such as surface and underground atomic power stations; for finding out and location of the ecology-safe rock blocks for construction of long-term radioactive waste storages. The method of deep electrical soundings is a constituent of a seismological observation system while the earthquake prediction.

Of significant prospects for these problems decision are the use of low frequency electromagnetic fields excited by powerful generators of harmonic fluctuations in long Electrical Transmission Lines. Such sources, located in zones of rocks with low electro-conductivity (the Kola peninsula), can create strong fields on vast territories and great distances for a long time, which is of the greatest importance when conducting large scale works on geophysical profiles (transects), and also while involving the deep electrical prospecting methods in the system of the earthquake prediction. The use of harmonically varied fields allows realizing at the expense of synchronous accumulation high accuracy of measurements from tenth till the first units of percents. A detailed theory of frequency sounding provides a reliable interpretation of results. The features marked above show significant advantages of this method in comparison with the methods based on the use of fields of impulsive or any other physical nature.

A number of experimental researchers, carried out in 1991-1995 years with the help of powerful radiostations of military NAVY (VMF, Russia), have shown significant importance of application of the given method in geophysics.

In 1992 a study of geoelectrical structure of the Tsaginskaya ore prospective zone (Kola Peninsula) and the deep sounding of the Earth crust section in South Finland were carried out. In 1993 the deep soundings on the Kola Peninsula (Kovdor block) and in the Nizhny Novgorod region were performed. In 1995 the experimental studies carried out on the Northern Caucasus showed significant prospects for the use of powerful sources of low-frequency field to monitor seismotectonic processes.

The project attracts the leading scientists and experts working in the field of weapon control systems based on the use of low-frequency electromagnetic fields, excited by powerful stationary radiation sources.

The technical approach to decision of problems of the project consists in the development of the technologies of deep electromagnetic sounding and monitoring of seismic activity using powerful controlled sources of electromagnetic fields and modern receiving and computerizing systems.

The results to be obtained

The Project's results could be:

- theoretical background for generation, propagation, recording and processing of low frequency electromagnetic fields;
- techniques for wide frequency electromagnetic soundings on the regional geophysical transects (profiles) and polygons for the purposes of studying a deep structure of the Earth crust, to forecast oil gas and ore deposits, to solve ecological problems and to monitor the earthquake hazard;
- techniques for distinguishing of effects, caused by underground nuclear explosions, from ones caused by subsurface earthquakes;
- recommendations on using a method of deep electromagnetic soundings to choose stable sites for the surface and underground atomic power stations and vast water reservoirs, to find out and to contour the ecology-safe rock blocks for the construction of long-term radioactive waste storages;
- packages of applied programs for calculations and analysis of low frequency electromagnetic waves propagation in the waveguide "Earth-Ionosphere";
- techniques and programs for receiving weak electromagnetic signals, data analysis and their interpretation;
- two operating breadboard models of powerful generator installations within frequency range 0.1-300 Hz, one stationed in the Kolenergo system (Russia) and other one in the Krimenergo system (Ukraine);
- computer-based multicomponent measuring stations.

The realization of the Project suggested would allow starting creating the system of studying the deep structure of the Earth crust and electromagnetic monitoring of seismic activity.

The problems under the Project are urgent for a number of organizations in Japan, USA and Europe. The Project suggests the information exchange with collaborators from foreign laboratories and the discussion of results, obtained during the joint research work. The created method due to high intensity of radiation has significant prospects for fundamental and applied geoelectrical studies on the territory of Western Europe.


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