This paper discusses the use of Controlled Source Audio-frequency Magnetotelluric method (CSAMT) in geological structure exploration at an area preselected for high level radioactive waste (HLRW) in northwest China. The survey objective is to evaluate the rock mass quality and find the weak geological structures which will cause damage to the safety and stability of underground repository. We conducted a dense CSAMT survey, combined with borehole information to delineate the local weak geological structures. The study was conducted in NW China in 2014. The comparison between the interpreted results and geologic information shows that both are in agreement. The preliminary results offer detailed information about the electrical structures of Nuorigong rock mass from the surface to 1400 m deep, so the interrelationship between the target rock mass and its surroundings were analyzed to show their shapes. In conclusion, CSAMT results are helpful in exploring the subsurface for geological structures and competent rock mass. It can also provide the reliable geophysical evidence and scientific reference for complete and consistent evaluation of the deep geological structures, and aid in comprehensive assessment of preselected sites for HLRW disposal, such as further study in the design and construction of an underground man-made repository.


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