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Enlightening Research


Kids using LandMapper to measure soil properties

Our first videos are accessible on YouTube now! Those introductory videos show how to use LandMapper for soil mapping and how simultaneously collect soil samples. It is so easy, even nine years old kids learned very quickly how to turn on the device and take measurements.

Story: Fourth graders from Bay Area Charter School in El Lago, TX were introduced to LandMapper - hand-held geophysical device - to assist them in undestanding soil properties and how they change during compaction. The project was undertaken in May 2012 to renovate high-traffic area near gym and playground of the elementary school. Kids learned how to make field observations and select areas with contrasting soil properties. They also learned that collecting soil samples by traditional methods is hard and "dirty" work. However, LandMapper can measure soil electrical resistivity (ER), a reciprocal of electrical conductivity (EC) - ER=1/EC - quickly and directly on the soil surface. Those electrical properties are related to many soil properties which reflect soil "health": compaction, stone content, salinity, fertility, texture, organic matter, and others. Using LandMapper to measure soil ER or EC prior to soil sampling can considerebly reduce time and effort in soil mapping and analysis. Best of all, LandMapper can be used anywhere - in farm fields, construction areas, flooded or frozen soils;  and by anyone - very little training is required!


BACES El Lago, TX 29° 34' 47.2656" N, 95° 2' 13.308" W

LandMapper ERM-02 - versatile and affordable

Landmapper - field EC meter with lab accuracy

Don’t break your back collecting soil samples. Reduce amount of samples sent for laboratory analysis and save money. And still make detail soil map of your fields, which will be more accurate than conventional soil surveys. Impossible? Not at all with LandMapper ERM-02.
This device measures three important electrical properties of soil: electrical resistivity (ER), conductivity (EC), and potential (EP). Utilizing the most accurate four-electrode principle LandMapper measures ER or EC and helps delineate areas with contrasting soil properties within the fields quickly, non-destructively and cost-efficiently.

In a typical setting, a four-electrode probe is placed on the soil surface and an electrical resistivity or conductivity value is read from the digital display. Using the device prior to soil sampling you can significantly reduce the amount of samples required and precisely design a sampling plan based on the site spatial variability.
Bulk soil EC was correlated with salinity, texture, stone content, bulk density, total available nutrients, water holding capacity, and filtration rates. Guided by detailed soil EC map obtained with LandMapper, only minimal amount of soil samples is needed to invert EC map into correlated soil properties. Also, LandMapper can be used to measure EC in soil pastes, suspensions and solutions and quickly estimate total dissolved salts (TDS) in solid and liquid samples.


Beltsville 39° 2' 5.3952" N, 76° 54' 26.9064" W
34° 57' 16.8984" N, 91° 38' 52.6164" W
56° 17' 1.7628" N, 36° 59' 27.4812" E

Cenozoic Shale Formations as a New Frontier Area - detecting shallow natural gas fields

methane emission on peat bogGuest post by Dr. Leonid Anisimov, Principal Scientist of Lukoil-Engineering, Volgograd, Russia. VolgogradNIPImorneft – scientific center of the LUKOIL Oil Company for the South Volga, Caspian Region and Middle East.

Shalow gas accumulations in shale deposits are unconventional energy resources. However those are hazardous objects for drilling especially in the offshore areas.
Seismic is a principal instrument to detect shallow gas pockets but electromagnetic methods may have advantage. The presentation below shows principal geography and techniques for detection and development of shale gas fields. A pilot project of Landviser LLC in using VES for monitoring accumulation and release of methan in peat bogs of Eastern Siberia is attached.


Houston 29° 45' 36.6948" N, 95° 22' 9.804" W
56° 52' 40.7964" N, 60° 55' 48.6336" E
43° 46' 4.5048" N, 11° 15' 8.5644" E

Vertical Electrical Sounding and Self-Potential Methods to Survey for Placement of Potable Water Wells

Science of Geophysics vs Art of DowsingWater is a precious commodity  in most urban and rural areas. Luck of local  potable  water sources threatens not only thriving but a mere survival of rural communities all over the world.  Establishing potable water wells requires a lot of fundings and resources and often cost prohibitive for local governments in South America and Africa.

Searching for shallow groundwater require knowledge of subsurface layers and locating intensity and directions of water fluxes, which can be accomplished with geophysical methods of vertical electrical sounding (VES) and self-potential (SP).  A method of VES can distinguish differences in electrical resistivity or conductivity at the multiple (10+) layers in soil profiles. These differences reveal the changes in soil texture and structure  between water-bearing and waterproof  layers,  which form a framework for  the subsurface water fluxes. 

The directions and intensities of the fluxes  can then be evaluated with the self-potential method. However, conventional equipment for VES and SP is very expensive, bulky and complicated to operate. We tested a simple low-cost handheld device, LandMapper ERM-02, to evaluate layers in the ground with VES method and results were well  correlated with drilled profiles in Central TX.  Information is provided for the VES array assembly, field measuring procedure and interpretation of sounding results. Previously, device was used in Astrakhan area, Russia for estimation of the groundwater table and salinity layers in the soil profiles. The method of self-potential was used to estimate subsurface water flux directions and intensities through the measured variation in electrical potential on the soil surface and direct potable wells placement in Kiev, Urkaine and Dmitrov, Russia.

Cite this presentation:SAGEEP 25 - 2012 - Tucson, AZ
Golovko, Larisa, Anatoly Pozdnyakov, and Terry Waller. “A Vertical Electrical Sounding and Self-Potential Methods to Survey for Placement of Potable Water Wells.” In Making Waves: Geophysical Innovations for a Thirsty World. Tucson  AZ: Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society, 2012.


Water For All International San Angelo, TX 31° 27' 49.5792" N, 100° 26' 13.3368" W
SAGEEP 2012 Tucson, AZ 32° 13' 18.2748" N, 110° 55' 35.3244" W

RES3DINV - 3D inversion geophysical software for resistivity and induced polarization data

RES3DINV software -Create 3D models of subsurface resistivity or IP!
For Windows XP/Vista/7  (available for 32- and 64-bit PCs.)

3D surveys for pole-pole, pole-dipole, dipole-dipole, rectangular, trapezoid, Wenner, Wenner-Schlumberger,and non-conventional arrays.

Now available as a combined package together with RES2DINV, the 2D Resistivity & IP inversion program.
Supports exact and approximate least-squares optimisation methods
Supports smooth and sharp constrasts inversions
Supports up to 5041 electrodes and 67500 data points on computers with 1GB RAM
Supports trapezoidal survey grids
Supports parallel calculations on Pentium 4 (and compatible) based computers
Multi-core support with RES3DINVx32, 128GB memory support with RES3DINVx64

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