Electrical Resistivity Techniques for Offshore Arctic Geotechnical Engineering Applications

by Robert F. Corwin, Harding Lawson Associates, Novato, CA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Civil Engineering in the Arctic Offshore


The electrical resistivity of an arctic marine soil depends on the porosity, pore water salinity, grain size and shape, clay content, and degree of ice-bonding of the soil. Therefore, electrical resistivity measurements can be helpful in mapping these properties. Equipment, field procedure, and data interpretation techniques for offshore electrical resistivity measurements are relatively simple, and measurements can be made rapidly. Experience with the method indicates that data quality is at least as good as that for conventional onshore measurements, and that geologic interpretations agree well with available borehole data. Examples of marine resistivity measurements from the Beaufort Sea show that resistivity data can determine the depth from mudline to the top of bonded material within about plus or minus 10%, can distinguish between fine- and coarse-grained sediments, and can provide information about the pore water salinity of bonded and unbonded materials.

Subject Headings: Salt water | Electrical resistivity | Geotechnical engineering | Soil water | Pore water | Hydro power | Ocean engineering | Arctic | Beaufort Sea

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