Utah Mud Volcanoes Results

Laura Sherrod - 2015

Ten geophysical survey lines and one block survey were established at the mud volcano site, focusing on the three dimensional subsurface structure of the features.  Dipole-dipole resistivity lines were performed with a base electrode spacing of 1m, 2m, and 5m.  GPR lines were performed with 200MHz and 400MHz antennae.  The 900MHz antenna tested at the site produced results similar to the 400MHz profiles.

Data were processed using ERTLab64 (resistivity) and Reflexw (GPR).  The resistivity results at small electrode spacing resolve individual or small groupings of vent conduits.  Some resolution is lost as the electrode spacing is increased, but a subsurface zone of low resistivity (mud chamber) is visible linking to the surface vents.  Three dimensional imaging of the 2m profiles clearly shows the structure of the mud volcano vent.   

GPR profiles show a continuous reflector at a depth of approximately 1m across the site, broken at the location of the mud volcano vents.  Additional, stratigraphic texture features such as crossbedding are apparent in the GPR profiles, particularly for the higher frequency (higher resolution) 400MHz antenna. 

Resistivity profiles with electrode spacing of 1m (top), 2m (middle), and 5m (bottom)


Five parallel GPR profiles over two mud volcano vents (low-lying area), with the crossbedding features (top) and the disruption of the continuous reflector at approximately 1m at the location of the vents

Three dimensional images of the 2m resistivity profiles over the mud volcano vent.  The vent is imaged as the open zone of the bottom image by omitting the features of less than 100 Ohm-m. 

Starting the field work dark and early Hiking the equipment to the site Emily and Kelly measured the elevation of the survey lines
Taking equipment inventory at the end of the day Resistivity survey over the multi-vent mud volcano GPR survey with 200MHz antenna
Kaley excavating the vent of the southern block mud volcanoe Group effort to excavate the multi-vent mud volcano Vent structures exposed by the excavations
Results Published in Sedimentary Geology in February 2016
Utah Mud Volcanoes
Geologic Mapping Ground Penetrating Radar
Sherrod Home Page GSKU Resistivity