2015 Volume 91 Issue 6 Pages 203-222
Electromagnetic exploration is a geophysical method for examining the Earth’s interior through observations of natural or artificial electromagnetic field fluctuations. The method has been in practice for more than 70 years, and 40 years ago it was first applied to ocean areas. During the past few decades, there has been noticeable progress in the methods of instrumentation, data acquisition (observation), data processing and inversion. Due to this progress, applications of this method to oceanic regions have revealed electrical features of the oceanic upper mantle down to depths of several hundred kilometers for different geologic and tectonic environments such as areas around mid-oceanic ridges, areas around hot-spot volcanoes, subduction zones, and normal ocean areas between mid-oceanic ridges and subduction zones. All these results estimate the distribution of the electrical conductivity in the oceanic mantle, which is key for understanding the dynamics and evolution of the Earth together with different physical properties obtained through other geophysical methods such as seismological techniques.