SPARTAN MT provides a flexible survey for mapping and deeper exploration.

It is one of the most sophisticated and accurate surveys for providing surface to depth imaging for a variety of regional, local and remote applications.

2000 m depth shown

A SPARTAN MT survey is robust and rugged. Flexible survey design and deployment can provide drill planning solutions from near surface to 10 km depth and beyond. It can be carried out almost anywhere and rapidly provides information for mapping both locally and regionally.

What is SPARTAN MT?

SPARTAN MT is a robust full-tensor audio-magnetotelluric technology that acquires high quality data in the 10 kHz to 0.001 Hz frequency band.  Data are presented as resistivities and correlate with geology, structure and potential geothermal reservoirs. Quantec’s SPARTAN MT system provides a unique and effective method for obtaining deep resistivity over a variety of terrains. With high portability and flexibility of distribution, SPARTAN MT is environmentally friendly and non-invasive. Depth of investigation is from surface to 10,000 m and beyond.

Proven expertise in MT acquisition enables Quantec to deliver premium-quality data and effective interpretations that accurately map resistivities to depth. The SPARTAN systems are deployed globally, in both MT and DCIP modes, to provide clients with unique configurations tailored to challenging environments where deep imaging and high quality data are required.

How it works

MT (Magnetotellurics) is a passive electromagnetic technique that maps resistivity by measuring the telluric currents induced in the earth by natural sources:  lightning, solar flares and ionospheric resonances. Magnetotellurics (MT) is an EM geophysical method that infers the earth’s subsurface electrical properties from measurements of natural electric and magnetic fields at the earth’s surface. SPARTAN MT is a 10 channel, 24 bit data acquisition system (see diagram below); at each MT site, 10 channels are run simultaneously and can collect 6 magnetic fi­eld measurements. Spartan MT uses 3 high frequency (HF) and 3 low frequency (LF) coils for maximum sensitivity and the highest quality data possible. By measuring full tensor data in the 10 KHz to .001 Hz frequency band, investigation depth ranges from near surface down to 10 km or more can be achieved by the system.

MT sounding curve example

Resistivity section derived from MT data collection. 2D section shown to 1500 metres

Flexible survey design and high quality data acquisition

SPARTAN MT can be deployed in a number of configurations depending on your exploration requirements. Depending on the exploration initiative and budget, SPARTAN can be deployed in transects to collect 2D information or in some cases large grid patterns or even random deployment locations, that can accommodate harsh topography, geology, culture etc., may be used to acquire 3D data sets. The data is easily integrated with other data types to enhance interpretations. High quality data – full-tensor measurement provides sensitivity and accuracy. The Quantec system is very portable and rugged. Depending on the configuration an MT site may involve a set up as shown below.

Spartan System Layout (Full frequency with vertical coils shown)

Portable system for rapid deployment

A survey example:  a 100 site survey may be acquired in 12 days using 11 SPARTAN systems utilising 1 crew consisting of 3 teams of 3.

SPARTAN MT survey plan, site locations with excluded sections in red

When to use SPARTAN

Designed to provide flexible solutions for a variety of exploration projects 

  • Shallow (0-1000m) exploration – tight station spacing (~200 m), high frequency AMT (Audio band Magnetotellurics) recording
  • Regional target evaluation and exploration – wide station spacing (500m – 1000m), low frequency recording
  • Harsh / extreme topography – robust, autonomous nodes
  • Complement to seismic – situations where seismic signal is degraded by near-surface, e.g. volcanic, heavilly weathered, karst or permafrost cover
  • Deep geothermal exploration
  • Deep terrane-scale structural mapping
  • Crustal studies
  • Minesite and other culturally noisy environments where deeper local investigations are required near deposits. – flexible deployment and ability to record signal in the presence of noise

A SPARTAN team in action (slideshow)

Some survey results

The video below demonstrates how a SPARTAN MT survey can be deployed to provide an exploration resistivity model for a large area. The image and model provide the tools to effectively plan and target in the subsurface.

Visit our PROJECTS page to see some additional examples.

DOWNLOAD a presentation on SPARTAN MT case examples.


As leaders in MT acquisition, with proven expertise spanning more than 20 years, Quantec provides magnetotelluric surveys globally with safe acquisition procedures, premium quality data and expert interpretation.  For survey design and logistical planning, expert geophysicists and technicians will recommend and custom design a magnetotelluric survey to suit your objectives, and your site’s geology.

Contact Quantec to find out more about SPARTAN MT or to plan a survey      

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