Marine Resistivity of the Panama Canal

Electrical resistivity data acquired in the Panama Canal using continuous resistivity profiling. A geological mapping project using marine resistivity was conducted in the Panama Canal to help understand material properties for dredging. Within the Gatun Lake region, loose sandy fill can easily be removed by suction dredging, while harder marine-based sedimentary rock must first be drilled and blasted before using a bucket dredge for removal. Understanding the subsurface properties can limit the use of the more expensive blasting method. The image below shows the results of 3D modeling of streaming resistivity data acquired in the canal, where high resistivity values appeared to correlate with the former route of the Chagres River. In this area, the river bed was primarily coarse sands and gravels that meandered through harder outcrops of rock (shown as lower resistivity). These data were then used by the Panama Canal Authority to refine costs of construction.