In frames of a Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA) project (No. K49604), we systematically investigated all published surface geoelectric arrays, since a part of them are out of use, even completely forgotten. Even in case of these latter ones we were optimistic in their potential renaissance, due to the rapid advance in geophysical knowledge and technical development. Therefore at first we collected all surface geophysical arrays, ever used in geophysical exploration. We presented all of them in a standard way, and we classified them. This collection proved to be the basis of still on-going inter-comparisons. We revealed the original motivation of their design, as well. Then we produced parameter sensitivity maps for all possible arrays, by using a new analytical approach. Parameter sensitivity maps for non-linear and focussed arrays had never been presented before. Through examples (mainly for null-arrays, one of the focal points of our project) we presented, how these maps can be applied. Then another characterizing parameter, the depth of investigation was studied. The so-called depth of investigation characteristics (DIC) was computed for all the 30 arrays, where it exists, both in terms of Roy and Apparao (1971) and Edwards (1977). We carried out various comparisons, and revealed a complex relation among vertical resolution, depth of investigation and noise. We showed how the depth of investigation is constrained by the noise level. Therefore the maximal (theoretical) depths of investigation for 6 arrays were studied at various noise levels. Besides some further theoretical studies, our further work will concentrate on measurements. The general characterization of so many geoelectric arrays provides a better knowledge about them, and it will be hopefully useful also for other teams to select always the optimal arrays in their field problem. It should be mentioned, that this paper does not contain mathematical details. If the reader would like to reproduce the results demonstrated on the figures, the referred previous publications of the authors should be studied.
In this paper we provide a comprehensive summary about the practical results of the OTKA project K49604. 1. We calculated the consequences of incorrect positioning of the electrodes for various multielectrode systems. In practice these effects were found to be negligible. The only exception is the case of rocky surface, where it is impossible to put the electrodes in the desired positions. The errors can however be kept within an acceptable range, if the electrodes of the linear arrays are put off-set, at right angles from the measuring line. A five-six times larger off-set has less effect than a certain mis-position along the line, connecting the electrodes. 2. We carried out tensorial geoelectric measurements around the Cistercian Monastery at Pilisszentkereszt. Areal measurements provide much more detailed and unambiguous anomalies than 2D profile measurements, and the tensor invariant representation of apparent resistivity anomalies provides a realistic picture about the lateral variation of the subsurface resistivity, even in field circumstances. 3. We tested the applicability of 3D electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) technique to detect landmines in different soil conditions and at various depths. Metallic and non-metallic landmines buried in wet and dry soils had been synthetically modeled. According to the inverted resistivity data using the dipole axial array in wet environment, it was possible to locate the metallic and non-metallic landmines as long as the noise level was about 5%. 4. We elaborated moreover a geoelectrical procedure which is able to map multidirectional fissure systems by combining geoelectrical profiling and geoelectrical azimuthal measurements. Results received by using both the so-called null-, and traditional arrays were jointly interpreted. The humidity of the fissures affects the measured results significantly, and in a meaningful way. 5. We presented the socalled standardized pricking probe (PP) surveying technique and demonstrated its usefulness in an archaeological study. The PP images proved to be definitely more close to the realistic shape of the buried chapel than the geoelectric and magnetic measurements, and they also revealed more details about the subsurface than the georadar. The optimum PP parameters: horizontal interval, pricking depth, observable quantity and its way of presentation were optimized through field experiments. For more details see the cited publications. The figures ever published in Hungarian journals are not reproduced here.