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Data Series 581

In cooperation with the Central Platte Natural Resources District

Time-Domain Electromagnetic Soundings Collected in Dawson County, Nebraska, 2007–09

By Jason D. Payne and Andrew P. Teeple


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Between April 2007 and November 2009, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Central Platte Natural Resources District, collected time-domain electro­magnetic (TDEM) soundings at 14 locations in Dawson County, Nebraska. The TDEM soundings provide information pertaining to the hydrogeology at each of 23 sites at the 14 locations; 30 TDEM surface geophysical soundings were collected at the 14 locations to develop smooth and layered-earth resistivity models of the subsurface at each site. The soundings yield estimates of subsurface electrical resistivity; variations in subsurface electrical resistivity can be correlated with hydrogeologic and stratigraphic units. Results from each sounding were used to calculate resistivity to depths of approximately 90–130 meters (depending on loop size) below the land surface. Geonics Protem 47 and 57 systems, as well as the Alpha Geoscience TerraTEM, were used to collect the TDEM soundings (voltage data from which resistivity is calculated). For each sounding, voltage data were averaged and evaluated statistically before inversion (inverse modeling). Inverse modeling is the process of creating an estimate of the true distribution of subsurface resistivity from the mea­sured apparent resistivity obtained from TDEM soundings. Smooth and layered-earth models were generated for each sounding. A smooth model is a vertical delineation of calculated apparent resistivity that represents a non-unique estimate of the true resistivity. Ridge regression (Interpex Limited, 1996) was used by the inversion software in a series of iterations to create a smooth model consisting of 24–30 layers for each sounding site. Layered-earth models were then generated based on results of smooth modeling. The layered-earth models are simplified (generally 1 to 6 layers) to represent geologic units with depth. Throughout the area, the layered-earth models range from 2 to 4 layers, depending on observed inflections in the raw data and smooth model inversions. The TDEM data collected were considered good results on the basis of root mean square errors calculated after inversion modeling, comparisons with borehole geophysical logging, and repeatability.

First posted April 8, 2011

For additional information contact:
Director, USGS Nebraska Water Science Center
5231 South 19 Street
Lincoln, NE 68512
(402) 328–4100

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Suggested citation:

Payne, Jason D., and Teeple, Andrew P., 2011, Time-domain electromagnetic soundings collected in Dawson County, Nebraska, 2007–09: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 581, 46 p.




Data Quality and Repeatability

Digital Data


References Cited

Appendix 1. Datasets of raw and processed time-domain electromagnetic data

Appendix 2. Graphs showing time-domain electromagnetic resistivity from field measurements as a function of time and inverse modeling results

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