New publication by Eugen Zibulski and Norbert Klitzsch on JGR


Influence of Inner Surface Roughness on the Spectral Induced Polarization Response—A Numerical Study

Eugen publication

Spectral induced polarization (SIP) laboratory measurements on water-saturated rocks show a strong correlation between the electrical polarization strength and the inner surface area of rocks. We investigate the influence of inner surface roughness on the SIP response by simulating the frequency-dependent complex conductivity of micro-scale rock models. Starting with smooth grain models, we introduce surface roughness using two different approaches: increasing the surface roughness in a fractal-like manner, and creating random surface structures, resulting in more natural-looking surfaces. We find that surface roughness has two distinct effects on the SIP response: (a) a shift in the position and magnitude of the primary relaxation frequency to lower frequencies and lower magnitudes, respectively, and (b) the formation of secondary polarizations above the polarization frequency of the primary polarization. We also compare the relaxation time and normalized chargeability obtained by Debye decomposition and the imaginary conductivity at 1 Hz of our models with mechanistic models and empirical relations. We point out the congruences and offer explanations for the discrepancies between our models and the empirical observations. We conclude that the results of our study are applicable to real rocks and that the SIP method has the potential to detect inner surface roughness. However, the SIP method it not able to discriminate between signals from rough particles and a distribution of smooth particles.