Large-scale electrical resistivity tomography in the Cheb Basin (Eger Rift) at an International Continental Drilling Program (ICDP) monitoring site to image fluid-related structures

Nickschick, Tobias; Flechsig, Christina; Mrlina, Jan; Oppermann, Frank; Löbig, Felix; Günther, Thomas

The Cheb Basin, a region of ongoing swarm earthquake activity in the western Czech Republic, is characterized by intense carbon dioxide degassing along two known fault zones – the N–S-striking Počatky–Plesná fault zone (PPZ) and the NW–SE-striking Mariánské Lázně fault zone (MLF). The fluid pathways for the ascending CO2 of mantle origin are one of the subjects of the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) project “Drilling the Eger Rift” in which several geophysical surveys are currently being carried out in this area to image the topmost hundreds of meters to assess the structural situation, as existing boreholes are not sufficiently deep to characterize it.

As electrical resistivity is a sensitive parameter to the presence of conductive rock fractions as liquid fluids, clay minerals, and also metallic components, a large-scale dipole–dipole experiment using a special type of electric resistivity tomography (ERT) was carried out in June 2017 in order to image fluid-relevant structures. We used permanently placed data loggers for voltage measurements in conjunction with moving high-power current sources to generate sufficiently strong signals that could be detected all along the 6.5 km long profile with 100 and 150 m dipole spacings. After extensive processing of time series for voltage and current using a selective stacking approach, the pseudo-section is inverted, which results in a resistivity model that allows for reliable interpretations depths of up than 1000 m.

The subsurface resistivity image reveals the deposition and transition of the overlying Neogene Vildštejn and Cypris formations, but it also shows a very conductive basement of phyllites and granites that can be attributed to high salinity or rock alteration by these fluids in the tectonically stressed basement. Distinct, narrow pathways for CO2 ascent are not observed with this kind of setup, which hints at wide degassing structures over several kilometers within the crust instead. We also observed gravity and GPS data along this profile in order to constrain ERT results. A gravity anomaly of ca. −9mGal marks the deepest part of the Cheb Basin where the ERT profile indicates a large accumulation of conductive rocks, indicating a very deep weathering or alteration of the phyllitic basement due to the ascent of magmatic fluids such as CO2. We propose a conceptual model in which certain lithologic layers act as caps for the ascending fluids based on stratigraphic records and our results from this experiment, providing a basis for future drillings in the area aimed at studying and monitoring fluids.

Zitieren

Zitierform:

Nickschick, Tobias / Flechsig, Christina / Mrlina, Jan / et al: Large-scale electrical resistivity tomography in the Cheb Basin (Eger Rift) at an International Continental Drilling Program (ICDP) monitoring site to image fluid-related structures. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

Rechte

Rechteinhaber: Tobias Nickschick et al.

Nutzung und Vervielfältigung:

Export