Virtual electrode current injection using seismic focusing and seismoelectric conversion



Acoustic wavefields produced using sources appropriately delayed in time can be focused at known positions and times in a heterogeneous medium. Seismoelectric conversion occurs if the acoustic focus point coincides with a discontinuity in electrical and hydrological medium properties, thus generating a current density. The current generates a potential difference, which can be observed at a distance by an array of monitoring electrodes. Since the acoustic wavefield is precisely located at a position and time, this electrical source behaves like a controlled virtual electrode whose properties depend on the strength of the acoustic wavefield and on the medium properties. This procedure can be used to increase the robustness and resolutions of electrical resistivity tomography and to identify hydrological parameters at various points in the medium by scanning the medium by changing the position of the acoustic focus point.