Passive geophysical prospecting apparatus and method based upon

Electricity: measuring and testing – Of geophysical surface or subsurface in situ – Using electrode arrays – circuits – structure – or supports


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324344, G01V 312, G01V 340




An apparatus and method for passively determining the depth and thickness of a subterranean geologic formation bearing hydrocarbons, e.g., oil and/or gas, or commercially important ore deposits, e.g., precious metals. The apparatus has an antenna to pick up extremely low frequency signals naturally emanating from the Earth's surface. In a preferred embodiment, the received signal is amplified and filtered. The signal is then modulated onto a carrier wave. The modulated signal is then filtered to eliminate one of the sidebands, for example, the lower sideband. An oscillator generates a tuning frequency which is then beat against the filtered, modulated signal in order to tune to a particular frequency. The oscillator sweeps through the range of frequencies, e.g., in the upper sideband portion of the filtered, modulated signal. For each desired frequency within this range which corresponds to a certain depth in the Earth, the tuned signal is adjusted to the desired frequency and is sent to a voltage level detector for detecting the tuned information and converting same to pulses. The pulses are counted over a desired time period to determine the pulse density, i.e., number of pulses per unit of time. A counter may be used and set as a trigger to send an output signal when a specific number of pulses per unit time is achieved. The pulses or output signal may be displayed, recorded and/or sent to a computer and later manipulated by varying the specified unit of time, i.e., the time span, to examine the pulse density information.

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