Improvement of the Efficiency of Time-Domain Electromagnetic Measurement

  • 7 Accesses


The long-term sustainable development of mineral exploration under covers require effective deep detection techniques and methods. Start from enhancing the surface-borehole time-domain electromagnetic (TEM) technique, the present study established a new relationship between the pulse width (Δ), the target time constant (τ) and the measurement time (t). Under certain conditions, the new formula has been extended to all TEM systems that use square or trapezoidal waveforms. A series of numerical simulations illustrate the consistent behaviors of the surface-borehole, ground and airborne TEM fields. The new relationship allows us to evaluate optimal pulse widths for different off-times and to help TEM survey design.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Access options

Buy single article

Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.

US$ 39.95

Price includes VAT for USA

Subscribe to journal

Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.

US$ 199

This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11


  1. Allard, M., & Milkereit, B. (2007). On the origin of the HTEM species. Proceedings of Exploration,7, 355–374.

  2. Becker, A., DeCarle, R., & Lazenby, P. G. (1984). Simplified prediction of transient electromagnetic response. Geophysics,49(7), 913–917.

  3. Chen, S. D., Lin, J., & Zhang, S. (2012). Effect of transmitter current waveform on TEM response. Chinese Journal of Geophysics,55(2), 709–716.

  4. Dyck, A. (1991). Drill-hole electromagnetic methods, in Nabighian, M. N., Electromagnetic methods in applied geophysics. Society of Exploration Geophysics,3, 881–930.

  5. Fitterman, D. V., & Anderson, W. L. (1984). Effect of transmitter turnoff characteristics on transient soundings. In SEG Technical Program Expanded  Abstracts 1984, Atlanta, Georgia (pp. 69–71).

  6. Fitterman, D. V., & Anderson, W. L. (1987). Effect of transmitter turn-off time on transient soundings. Geoexploration,24(2), 131–146.

  7. Geotech. (2019). Evaluating signal to noise and depth investigation of airborne time domain EM systems. Accessed Dec 2019.

  8. Lamontagne, Y. (1975). Applications of wideband time-domain EM measurements in mineral exploration. Ph.D. thesis, University of Toronto.

  9. Liu, G. (1998). Effect of transmitter current waveform on airborne TEM response. Exploration Geophysics,29(1/2), 35–41.

  10. Lu, J. G. (1999). The effect of transmitter waveform on TEM response. Journal of Henan College of Education,8(3), 23–24.

  11. Nabighian, M. N., & Macnae, J. C. (1991). Time domain electromagnetic methods. In M. N. Nabighian (Ed.), Electromagnetic methods in applied geophysics: Application, parts A and B (Vol. 2, pp. 427–520). Tulsa: Society of Exploration Geophysicists.

  12. Qin, Q. Y. (2013). Effect of transmitter current waveform variation on the fixed-wing airborne transient electromagnetic response. Progress in Geophysics (in Chinese),28(5), 2673–2679.

  13. Raiche, A. P. (1984). The effect of ramp function turn-off on the TEM response of layered earth. Exploration Geophysics,15(1), 37–41.

  14. Raiche, A., Sugeng, F., & Wilson, G. (2007). Practical 3D EM inversion - The P223F software suite. ASEG Extended Abstracts, 2007(1), 1–5.

  15. Raiche, A., Sugeng, F., & Soininen, H. (2003). Using the Loki 3D edge-finite-element program to model EM dipole–dipole drill-hole data. ASEG Extended Abstracts,2003(2), 1–4.

  16. Smith, R. (1998). On the effect of varying the pulse width to detect high conductance bodies. Exploration Geophysics,29(1/2), 42–45.

  17. Tweeton, D. R., Hanson, J. C., Friedel, M. J., Sternberg, B. K., & Dahl, L. J. (1994). Field test of electromagnetic geophysical techniques for locating simulated in situ mining leach solution. Report of investigations/1994 (No. PB-94-183043/XAB; BUMINES-IC--9505). Bureau of Mines, Minneapolis, MN (United States). Minneapolis Mining Research Center.

Download references


This work was funded by the Fond de Recherche du Québec-Nature et technologies (FRQNT) with industry partner Abitibi Geophysique and Agnico Eagle Mines Limited. We sincerely thank the reviewers for their valuable comments that help to improve the present paper.

Author information

Correspondence to Chong Liu.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Liu, C., Cheng, L., Dai, X. et al. Improvement of the Efficiency of Time-Domain Electromagnetic Measurement. Pure Appl. Geophys. (2020) doi:10.1007/s00024-020-02419-x

Download citation


  • Time-domain electromagnetic
  • time constant
  • pulse width
  • signal quality