Electrical properties of rock
Keller, George V. Department of Geophysics, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Electrical zones in the Earth
- Temperature effects
- Pressure effects
- Electrical zones in the Moon
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The effect of changes in pressure and temperature on electrical properties of rocks. There has been increasing interest in the electrical properties of rocks at depth within the Earth and the Moon. The reason for this interest has been consideration of the use of electrical properties in studying the interior of the Earth and its satellite, particularly to depths of tens or hundreds of kilometers. At such depths pressures and temperatures are very great, and laboratory studies in which these pressures and temperatures are duplicated have been used to predict what the electrical properties at depth actually are. More direct measurements of the electrical properties deep within the Earth have been made by using surface-based electrical surveys of various sorts. An important side aspect of the study of electrical properties has been the observation that, when pressures near the crushing strength are applied to a rock, marked changes in electrical properties occur, probably caused by the development of incipient fractures. Such changes in resistivity might be used in predicting earthquakes, if they can be measured in the ground. See also: Geoelectricity; Geophysical exploration
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