Resistivity of Saturated Crustal Rocks to 40 Km Based on Laboratory Measurements

  1. John G. Heacock
  1. W. F. Brace

Published Online: 15 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM014p0243

The Structure and Physical Properties of the Earth's Crust

The Structure and Physical Properties of the Earth's Crust

How to Cite

Brace, W. F. (2013) Resistivity of Saturated Crustal Rocks to 40 Km Based on Laboratory Measurements, in The Structure and Physical Properties of the Earth's Crust (ed J. G. Heacock), American Geophysical Union, Washington D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM014p0243

Author Information

  1. Department of Earth And Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1971

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900148

Online ISBN: 9781118664049

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Keywords:

  • Conductivity and resistivity;
  • Crustal rocks;
  • Eastern United States (EUS);
  • Heat flow provinces;
  • Hydrostatic (HYD) and lithostatic (LITH);
  • Mineral conduction;
  • Porosity, salinity and pressure;
  • Saturated crustal rocks

Summary

Recent studies in solution chemistry, together with our earlier high-pressure work, provide the information needed to construct resistivity-depth profiles for typical crustal rocks saturated with aqueous solutions. Profiles are presented for three heat flow provinces: the Sierra Nevada, the Basin and Range, and the eastern United States, to a depth of 40 km. The effects of high pressure and temperature and the variation of pore pressure from hydrostatic to lithostatic are discussed. For aqueous solutions alone, resistivity typically decreases with the conditions encountered at depth. However, this decrease is nearly counteracted by the effect of decreasing porosity of typical rocks at depth, so that below a few kilometers, resistivity of solution-saturated rocks should vary only slightly until temperatures sufficient for mineral conduction are reached. Mineral conduction should become significant at a depth of 10 to 40 km, depending on heat flow province. At no depth should resistivity of solution-saturated crustal rocks be greater than 106 Ω-m.