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The application, technique, and theory of Gish-Rooney instruments, methods, and interpretation in electrical resistivity measurements

January 1, 1994

The foundations of electrical prospecting were laid by Fox (1830) and Barus (1882). The former discovered that electrical currents and potentials were developed by certain ore deposits in Cornwall, England. Fox made measurements of these potentials and determined the resistivities of the minerals and surrounding rocks also. The latter, invented the non-polarizing electrode with which he overcame the polarizing effects of direct current, and was able to trace and extend the Comstock lode. According to Slichter (1934, p.234), F. Neumann proposed as early as 1884 determining the resistivity of the earth by a four-electrode method nearly like our present technique, and carefully developed the mathematical theory of the method. Wells (1914) followed the work of Barus with studies of the electric activity in ore deposits. Ambronn (1926) gives an extensive bibliography of the early work in geophysics.

The classical work of Wenner (1917) and, almost at the same time and independently, that of Schlumberger (1920) laid the foundations for resistivity measurements on the surface of the earth. While Schlumberger was actually making measurements of earth resistivity related to structural studies as early as 1912 in France, work in this country was slow in developing from the work of Wenner, but it was gaining adherents following the pioneering work of Kelley (1922) and Gish (1923). Probably the work of Gish and Rooney (1925) Who redesigned the apparatus of McCollum (1925) was the largest contributing cause in this country for the sudden interest and expansion of electrical methods. Their work was followed by many others in the late 1920's, some of which are: Gish (1926); Rooney and Gish (1927); Rooney (1927); Gish and Rooney (1927); Lee (1928); Hotchkiss, Rooney, and Fisher (1929); Weaver (1929); Lundberg (1929); Leonardon and. Kelley (1929); Crosby and Leonardon (1929); Carretta and Kelly (1929); Koenigsberger (1929}; Runkel (1928, 1929); Heiland (1929); and many others. 

Citation Information

Publication Year 1957
Title The application, technique, and theory of Gish-Rooney instruments, methods, and interpretation in electrical resistivity measurements
DOI 10.3133/ofr5899
Authors H. Cecil Spicer
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 58-99
Index ID ofr5899
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization