Slopes of an airborne electromagnetic resistivity model interpolated jointly with borehole data for 3D geological modelling

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We investigate a novel way to introduce resistivity models deriving from airborne electromagnetic surveys into regional geological modelling. Standard geometrical geological modelling can be strengthened using geophysical data. Here, we propose to extract information contained in a resistivity model in the form of local slopes that constrain the modelling of geological interfaces. The proposed method is illustrated on an airborne electromagnetic survey conducted in the region of Courtenay in France. First, a resistivity contrast corresponding to the clay/chalk interface was interpreted confronting the electromagnetic soundings to boreholes. Slopes were then sampled on this geophysical model and jointly interpolated with the clay/chalk interface documented in boreholes using an implicit 3D potential-field method. In order to evaluate this new joint geophysical–geological model, its accuracy was compared with that of both pure geological and pure geophysical models for various borehole configurations. The proposed joint modelling yields the most accurate clay/chalk interface whatever the number and location of boreholes taken into account for modelling and validation. Compared with standard geological modelling, the approach introduces in between boreholes geometrical information derived from geophysical results. Compared with conventional resistivity interpretation of the geophysical model, it reduces drift effects and honours the boreholes. The method therefore improves what is commonly obtained with geological or geophysical data separately, making it very attractive for robust 3D geological modelling of the subsurface.

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