Explore the Energy Glossary

Look up terms beginning with:

induced polarization

1. n. [Geophysics]

An electromagnetic method that uses electrodes with time-varying currents and voltages to map the variation of electrical permittivity (dielectric constant) in the Earth at low frequencies. Induced polarization is observed when a steady current through two electrodes in the Earth is shut off: the voltage does not return to zero instantaneously, but rather decays slowly, indicating that charge has been stored in the rocks. This charge, which accumulates mainly at interfaces between clay minerals, is responsible for the IP effect. This effect can be measured in either the time domain by observing the rate of decay of voltage or in the frequency domain by measuring phase shifts between sinusoidal currents and voltages. It is often used in exploration for minerals and can sometimes distinguish different types of mineralization. The IP method can probe to subsurface depths of thousands of meters.

Alternate Form: IP

See: dielectric constantelectrical permittivityelectromagnetic methodIIPtime domain