According to a slightly abridged translation by Novosti Press Agency of an article by Igor D. Morokhov, deputy director of the USSR State Atomic Energy Commission, first published in Sotsialisticheskaya Industriya, Soviet scientists have recently conducted the world's first experiment in vertical resistivity probing of the earth's crust to a depth of 25 miles by means of a magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) generator. The new method of probing is expected to have many uses in a number of fields including geology, mining, and earthquake forecasting.
As more of the earth's mineral deposits that are relatively near the surface approach depletion, ways of prospecting for and developing abyssal deposits are urgently needed. The electromagnetic method widely used for earth probing today is inefficient at great depths, since a tenfold increase in the depth of probing requires a millionfold increase in energy expenditure. In addition, powerful stationary installations are not practical because prospecting requires constant relocation.