Sensitivity analysis of inverted model parameters from transient electromagnetic measurements affected by induced polarization effects

Lukas Aigner*, Dieter Werthmüller, Adrián Flores Orozco

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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We investigate the application of the distance-based global sensitivity analysis (DGSA) to evaluate the sensitivity of electrical model parameters obtained from transient electromagnetic (TEM) data including induced polarization (IP) effects. We propose novel open-source forward modeling and inversion routines for single-loop TEM data including IP effects with the maximum phase angle model to model the frequency dependence of the complex resistivity. In a first step, we evaluate the accuracy of our forward modeling and inversion routines using numerical studies, where the actual variations of layer thicknesses and resistivities, as well as the frequency dependence of the complex resistivity is known. In a second step, we extend our investigation to field data and apply our approach to three distinct case studies in layered media: 1) a confined aquifer corresponding to conductive non-polarizable media, 2) a graphite deposit corresponding to highly conductive and polarizable anomalies in a resistive host rock and 3) an ice glacier corresponding to highly resistive polarizable media. Our DGSA results reveal that standard depth of investigation (DOI) approaches may overestimate the true sensitivity of the model obtained from the inversion. TEM data collected in conductive layered media without IP effects show reduced sensitivity above the predicted DOI. The case studies in polarizable media demonstrate that the maximum phase angle is more influential on the TEM model response than the relaxation time and dispersion coefficient. Our DGSA results for polarizable media reveal that TEM field data collected at the graphite deposit and at the ice glacier are sensitive to the geometry of the polarizable layer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105334
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Applied Geophysics
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Distance-based global sensitivity analysis
  • Forward modeling and inversion of transient electromagnetic method
  • Frozen ground and graphite ores
  • Induced polarization effect


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