An overview of Geophysics. Geophysics or geophysical science refers to the study of the earth’s surface and various sub-surface structures with the use of special instruments. Quite often these instruments are electrical in nature, as they rely on the measurement of resistance and conduction of electricity to determine and pinpoint various aspects of the structures and elements being studied. Geophysical studies and surveys are conducted all of the time, as the data collected from the various electrical sensing instruments is useful in determining many things, including where to drill for water wells, where to mine for oil, and where earthquakes have occurred and where they might next occur.
The science of geophysical study is an old one, but it’s also a very reliable one. And when it comes to reliable instruments that produce consistently accurate results, nothing beats the use of electrical resistivity tomography, or ERT. Scientists work hard to find geo-electrical tomography instruments that are accurate and reliable, simply because this type of imaging produces results that are transferred into graphs and heat maps for easy reading. The measurements are made by inserting special probes into the earth’s surface or through other structures, including bodies of water, and then measuring the resistance between these probes – a minimum of two are used, but often more are used in order to conduct studies over larger areas.
Depending on what needs studying, special boreholes – deep, narrow holes – may be deliberately drilled into various structures in order to provide a place for the electrical probes to be inserted. Additionally, special solutions that are heavy in sodium or other chemicals may be used to assist with the imaging. The studies conducted with these instruments have found everything from water to oil to copper to underground wells and caves that we would otherwise not be aware of.
Today’s selection of geophysical tomography instruments may look and function similar to their older-model counterparts, but today’s models offer one great advantage: wireless usage. Many of these devices can be charged up, similar to a laptop or a smartphone, and then used wirelessly. The data that is collected can often be transferred wirelessly to computers and even smartphone apps, which makes for easy analyzing and reading.