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Applications of LandMapper handheld for near-surface soil surveys and beyond

LandMapper - fast, portable, versatile, affordableOn-the-go sensors, designed to measure soil electrical resistivity (ER) or electrical conductivity (EC) are vital for faster non-destructive soil mapping in precision agriculture, civil and environmental engineering, archaeology and other near-surface applications. Compared with electromagnetic methods and ground penetrating radar, methods of EC/ER measured with direct current and four-electrode probe have fewer limitations and were successfully applied on clayish and saline soils as well as on highly resistive stony and sandy soils. However, commercially available contact devices, which utilize a four-electrode principle, are bulky, very expensive, and can be used only on fallow fields. Multi-electrode ER-imaging systems applied in deep geophysical explorations are heavy, cumbersome and their use is usually cost-prohibited in many near-surface applications, such as forestry, archaeology, environmental site assessment and cleanup, and in agricultural surveys on farms growing perennial horticultural crops, vegetables, or turf-grass. In such applications there is a need for accurate, portable, low-cost device to quickly check resistivity of the ground on-a-spot, especially on the sites non-accessible with heavy machinery.

Four-electrode principle of EC/ER measurements

Our equipment utilizes well-known four-electrode principle to measure electrical resistivity or conductivity (Fig).


Jonesboro, AR 35° 50' 32.2692" N, 90° 42' 15.4044" W
Krasnoyarsk 56° 0' 38.8404" N, 92° 51' 9.99" E

Soil Electrical Geophysics - public library @Zotero

Landviser maintains public library of publications related to "Soil Electrical Geophysics" on Zotero servers. You can view and browse that library below. PDFs of publications in public domain are attached to the respective listings in the library and are stored on this website. For most publications registration on Zotero or our website is not required, although we are strongly encourage you to register to gain access to all materials, receive timely updates and easily manage your own research library.

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


Self-potential map to detect directions of water fluxes, KievThe self-potential (SP) method was used by Fox as early as 1830 on sulphide veins in a Cornish mine, but the systematic use of the SP and electrical resistivity methods in conventional geophysics dates from about 1920 (Parasnis, 1997). The SP method is based on measuring the natural potential differences, which generally exist between any two points on the ground. These potentials are associated with electrical currents in the soil. Large potentials are generally observed over sulphide and graphite ore bodies, graphitic shale, magnetite, galena, and other electronically highly conducting minerals (usually negative). However, SP anomalies are greatly affected by local geological and topographical conditions. These effects are considered in exploration geophysics as “noise”. The electrical potential anomalies over the highly conducting rock are usually overcome these environmental “noise”, thus, the natural electrical potentials existing in soils are usually not considered in conventional geophysics.

LandMapper ERM-02, equipped with proper non-polarizing electrodes, can be used to measure such “noise” electrical potentials created in soils due to soil-forming process and water/ion movements. The electrical potentials in soils, clays, marls, and other water-saturated and unsaturated sediments can be explained by such phenomena as ionic layers, electro-filtration, pH differences, and electro-osmosis.

Another possible environmental and engineering application of self-potential method is to study subsurface water movement. Measurements of electro-filtration potentials or streaming potentials have been used in USSR to detect water leakage spots on the submerged slopes of earth dams (Semenov, 1980). The application of self-potential method to outline water fluxes in shallow subsurface of urban soils is described in (Pozdnyakova et al., 2001). The detail description of self-potential method procedure is provided in LandMapper manual.

Another important application of LandMapper ERM-02 is measuring electrical potentials between soils and plants. Electrical balance between soil and plants is important for plant health and electrical potential gradient governs water and nutrient uptake by plants. Monitoring of electrical potentials in plants and soils is a cutting-edge research topic in the leading scientific centers around the world.


Zamboanga 7° 1' 27.3612" N, 122° 11' 20.0544" E
Kiev-Pechersk Lavra Kiev 50° 24' 59.1768" N, 30° 33' 55.836" E

LandMapper ERM-01 - simple handheld resistivity meter

Throw away your augers and soil samplers! Well, not quite... LandMapper® ERM-01 is new non invasive device, which will help you to map land parcels with contrasting soil properties within the fields quickly, non destructivelyand cost-efficiently.

Landmapper is an excellent tool for soil mapping required for environmental consulting, golf courses maintenance, construction services, farm management, new land development, and real-estate planning. It is a must have tool for forensic and archaeological investigators, even for serious treasure hunters. Using this non invasive 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.

LandMapper® ERM-01 measures electrical resistivity or conductivity of soils and related media for express non invasive mapping and monitoring of agricultural fields as well as construction and remediation sites. In a typical setting, a four-electrode probe is placed on the surface and an electrical resistivity value is read from the digital display. The device measures electrical resistivity in a surface layer of the depth from 2 cm down to 20 m, which is set by varying the size of a four-electrode probe. Measurements are based on well-known four-electrode principle, which allows to avoid influence of electrode contact potential on measured electrical conductivity or resistivity of the media and obtain accurate readings.  The field tests were performed by our customers in USA, Russia, China, Canada, Sweden, France, Germany, Iraq, Dubai, Brazil, Panama and many others.

Electrical Geophysical Methods to Evaluate Soil Pollution from Gas and Oil Mining

transect across bitumen polluted soil and brune collectorElectrical geophysical methods were successfully used for exploration of gas and oil fields (Kalenev, 1970). However, the methods are not widely used for estimation of the soil pollution with petroleum products (Znamensky, 1980; Pozdnyakov et al., 1996a). The possibility of using the methods of electrical resistivity to evaluate the places of petroleum pollution or natural petroleum and gas deposits is based on highly different resistivities of soil and petroleum products. Petroleum and various products of petroleum manufacture, such as oil, gasoline, bitumen, and kerosene have very high electrical resistivity compared with soils. Electrical resistivity of petroleum varies from 104 to 1019 ohm m (Fedinsky, 1967), whereas resistivity of petroleum-saturated sand is much lower (2200 ohm m) (Znamensky, 1980), but is still higher than that of any non-polluted soil.

Soil pollution by the products of gas and petroleum mining was studied near Urengoi in northwest Siberia, Russia. The virgin soils, Glacic and Aquic Haplorthels, were extremely polluted with various by-products of petroleum extraction and manufacturing, such as bitumen, gasoline, kerosene, and mining brine solutions. The study area was thoroughly investigated with four-electrode profiling on 1.2-m array and vertical electrical sounding.


Urengoj 65° 57' 27" N, 78° 23' 4.2" E

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Our Case Studies

Applications of electrical geophysical methods in agriculture including precision agriculture and horticulture, soil mapping, stone and salt content mapping, detection of groundwater level and peat deposits. More >>
Applications of electrical geophysical methods in civil and environmental engineering including detection of groundwater rising in urban areas, mapping of oil polluted soils, and depth to permafrost layer. More >>
Electrical geophysical methods in forensic and archaeological applications including searching for soil disturbances of criminal origin, mapping preferential water fluxes destroying holy caves in Kiev, Ukraine. More >>


Beumont, TX 30° 4' 48.6264" N, 94° 7' 35.6016" W
Delta Volga 46° 6' 31.4028" N, 48° 4' 44.1048" E
Kiev 50° 27' 0.36" N, 30° 31' 24.24" E
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