Modeling of Self Potential (SP) Anomalies over a Polarized Rod with Finite Depth Extents


  • T. S. Fagbemigun Department of Geophysics, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Nigeria
  • M. O. Olorunfemi Department of Geology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria
  • S. A. Wahab Department of Applied Geophysics, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria


Modeling, self potential, polarized rod, geologic dip, depth of burial


Modeling is a powerful tool used by Geoscientists to provide pre-knowledge about the expectations of any geophysical field measurements. This study generates Self Potential (SP) anomalies over a typical dike-like structure to observe the influence of depth of burial and dip on SP anomalies. A computer program was developed from the potential distribution equation of an inclined polarized rod with a limited depth extent using Visual Basic (VB) programming language to produce synthetic data for potential distribution. The potential distribution data were used to generate theoretical SP anomaly curves for a polarized rod for varying depth of burial and dip. Twenty SP anomaly curves were generated with different dip values and depth of burial and from these curves, superimposed curves were also generated. The anomalies were analyzed for the effect of depth of burial and attitude or dip. The SP anomaly curves generated show that an increase in depth of burial causes a reduction in the peak negative amplitude of SP anomaly curves. For inclined polarized rod at relatively shallow depth (<2.0 m), the peak negative amplitude remains virtually the same with a positive shoulder over the down dip side of the target. Also as the dip angle decreases from 90o for a fixed depth of burial, the anomaly curves become asymmetrical. At 0o, the distance between the peak negative and peak positive amplitude of the anomaly curve is equal to the linear extent of the rod. Therefore, this study shows that the depth of burial inversely influences the amplitude of self-potential (SP) anomalies while the dip angle affects the form or symmetry of anomaly curves.

A. Bokulich, N. Oreskes, Models in the Geosciences. Handbook of Model-Based Science, 2017.

M. E. Hesham, “A New Method for Complete Quantitative Interpretation of Self-Potential Anomalies”, Journal of Applied Geophysics 55 (2004) 211.

A. A. Adeyemi, A. I. Idornigie, & M. O. Olorunfemi, “Spontaneous Potential and Electrical Resistivity Response Modelling for a Thick Conductor”, Journal of Applied Sciences Research 2 (2006) 691 

I. Oliveti, & E. Cardarelli, “2D Approach for Modelling Self-Potential Anomalies: Application to Synthetic and Real Data”, Bollettino di Geofisica Teorica ed Applicata 58 (2017) 415.

J. M. Burke, Modeling and Inversion of Self-Potential Data, Ph.D Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States of America, 2007.

A. Crespy, A. Revil, N. Linde, S. Byrdina, A. Jardani, A. Bole`ve, & P. Henry, “Detection and Localization of Hydromechanical Disturbances in a Sandbox Using the Self-Potential Method”, Journal of Geophysical Research 113 (2007) 1.

L. Alberto, Application of Spontaneous Potential Profiles for Exploration of Goldrich Epithermal Low Sulphidation Veins in a Humid Region. Conference of Geological Society of South Africa in Johannesburg, July 8-16, 2004.

V. E. Darwin, M. S. Julian, Well Logging for Earth Scientists. Netherlands: Springer, 2007.

H. H. Mohammed, R. S. Mohamed, & H. A. Wan, “Application of Well Log Analysis to Access the Petrophysical Parameters of the Lower Cretaceous Biyad Formation, East Shabowah Oilfields, Masila Basin, Yemen”, World Applied Sciences Journal 16 (2012) 1227.

M. O. Olorunfemi, A. I. Idornigie, H. O. Fagunloye, & O. A. Ogun, “Assessment of Anomalous Seepage Conditions in the Opa Dam Embankment, Ile Ife, SouthWestern Nigeria”, Global Journal of Geological Sciences, 2 (2003) 991.

P. Sjodahl, T. Dahlin, & S. Johansson, “Using the Resistivity Method for Leakage Detection in a Blind Test at the Rossvatn Embankment Dam Test Facility in Norway”, Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment 69 (2010) 643 – 658.

N. Linde, J. Doetsch, D. Jougnot, O. Genoni, Y. Durst, B. J. Minsley, T. Vogt, N. Pasquale, & J. Luster, “Self-Potential Investigations of a Gravel Bar in a Restored River Corridor”, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 15 (2011) 729.

G. Dominique, L. M. Jean-Louis, L. Luc, N. Florence, & P. Frederic, “Sap Flow and Daily Electric Potential Variations in a Tree Trunk, Remugol, France”, Journal of Plant Sciences 171 (2006) 572.

D. Jougnot, N. Linde, E. B. Haarder, & M. C. Looms, “Monitoring of Saline Tracer Movement with Vertically Distributed Self-Potential Measurements at the HOBE Agricultural Site, Voulund, Denmark”, Journal of Hydrology 521 (2015) 314.

W. C. Robert, Geotechnical Applications of the Self-Potential Method: Report 3: Development of Self-Potential Interpretation Techniques for Seepage Detection. US Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC, 1989.

B. ?oga?a, M. J. Mendecki, W. M. Zuberek, & M. Robak, “Application of Self Potential Method in the Area Contaminated with Oil Derivatives”, Acta Geodynamica et Geomaterialia 9 (2012) 179.

P. Soupios, & M.  Karaoulis, M. Application of Self-Potantial (SP) Method for Monitoring Contaminants Movement. 8th Congress of the Balkan Geophysical Society, Chania, Greece, 2015.

W. M. Telford, & L. P. Geldart, Applied Geophysics. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

B. J. Dallas & K. James, “Regional Self Potential Anomalies at Kilauea Volcano”, US Geological Professional Paper 1350 (2016) 947.

J. B. Rittgers, A. Revil, M. Karaoulis, M. A. Mooney, L. D. Slater, & E. A Atekwana, “Self-Potential Signals Generated by the Corrosion of Buried Metallic Objects with Application to Contaminant Plumes”, Geophysics 78 (2013) 65.



How to Cite

Fagbemigun, T. S., Olorunfemi, M. O., & Wahab, S. A. (2019). Modeling of Self Potential (SP) Anomalies over a Polarized Rod with Finite Depth Extents. Journal of the Nigerian Society of Physical Sciences, 1(2), 51–56.



Original Research