Open Journal of Geology, 2013, 3, 34-37
doi:10.4236/ojg.2013.32B008 Published Online April 2013 (
Electrical Resistivity Survey in Bukit Bunuh, Malaysia for
Subsurface Structure of Meteorite Impact Study
Mark Jinmin1*, Rosli Saad1, Mokhtar Saidin2, Andy A. Bery1
1Geophysics Section, School of Physics, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia
2Centre for Global Archaeological Research, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia
Received 2013
An electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) study was conducted at Bukit Bunuh, Lenggong Perak (Malaysia). The
study is to justify the features and environmental subsurface geological structure which is due to the meteorite impact.
The ERT survey used resistivity equipments comprises of 4 survey lines with 5 m electrode intervals, covering an area
of approximately 64 km2. The survey lines were carried out using ‘roll-along’ technique. The data were processed and
analysed using RES2DINV, Excel and Surfer software in order to produce electrical resistivity tomography for qualita-
tive interpretations. The results show the variation of resistivity value and faults. The 2-D resistivity results generally
show the study area was divided into two main zones, alluvium with resistivity value of 10 - 800 m, and bedrock with
resistivity value of > 1500 m and depth of 20 - 40 m. There are lots of fractured zones which are different than normal,
identified along the survey lines. The South-North line shows the fractured zones were identified at 760 - 3800 m and
4700 - 5900 m. The West-East line, the fractured zone was identified at 1545 - 6570 m and North-West to South-East
line, the fractured zone was identified at 740 - 5850 m. Meanwhile, South-West to North-East line, the fractured zone
was identified at 720 - 1520 m. These interesting results were indicated at position of longitude; 100.965 - 100.978 and
latitude; 5.056 - 5.066 where the bedrock depth is 40 - 60 m MSL and highly fractured. The area was surrounded by
high elevated bedrock. Integration of 2-D resistivity results with boreholes is successful give valid and reliable results.
The results of the study indicate that these geophysical approaches have a capability of retrieving the meteorite impact
subsurface of the studied area.
Keywords: Resistivity; Meteorite Impact; Interesting; Integration; Successful
1. Introduction
Geophysical survey in archaeological most often refers to
the ground-based physical sensing methods used for ar-
chaeological mapping or imaging. Geophysical survey
methods are neither invasive nor destructive methods
using in environmental study. For this reason, it is often
used where preservation is the goal, and to avoid distur-
bance. Geophysical survey results can be used to guide
preservation and to give archaeologists insight into the
patterning of non-excavated parts of the study site. Geo-
physical method used in this study was to create maps of
the subsurface archaeological features. Features are the
non-portable part of the archaeological record, whether
standing structures or traces of human activities lest in
the soil. In this paper, electrical resistivity was used to
detect the buried features when their physical properties
contrast measurable with the surroundings. Although
geophysical survey has been used in the past with inter-
mittent success, good results are very likely when it is
applied appropriately. It is most useful when it is used in
a well-integrated research design where interpretation
can be tested and refined.
Geophysical methods in archaeological has gained
wide acceptance in the past decade within the general
archaeological community. There are now practitioners
on all contents and discipline can be found in the cur-
riculums of many academic departments world-wide. Its
root laid in natural sciences, where techniques were de-
veloped by scientists with geophysics, geology and
physics ground [1-3]. The roots of archaeological geo-
physics lie in its ability as a prospection tool to locate,
map and produce images of buried cultural materials [4].
2. Geology Setting
The survey covered approximately 64 km2 with mainly
agricultural land (palm estate) at the centre of the area.
Meanwhile toward the West and East of the survey area
was primary jungle. Generally the survey area was un-
*Corresponding author.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. OJG
dulating and some part was very rough since the survey
lines running parallel and across Sungai Perak and two
mountain ranges, Bintang Range and Titiwangsa Range.
Bukit Bunuh is situated in Lenggong Valley area which
is at the north part of Kota Tampan. Generally, Lenggong
Valley consists of few unit lithologies, such as alluvium,
tetra dust and granitic rock. The alluvium unit was situ-
ated along the river. The quaternary sedimentation was
represented by alluvium unit and tetra dust. Granitic rock
was represented by Late Jurassic-Lower Carboniferous
which dominates the whole of Lenggong Valley which also
originated from Bintang Range on the west Lenggong [5].
3. Materials and Methods
In this paper, the survey used electrical resistivity method
to reach study goal. The purpose of resistivity survey is
to determine the subsurface resistivity distribution by
making measurement on the ground surface. Therefore,
the true resistivity of the subsurface can be estimated.
Electrical resistivity topography were obtained using the
georesistivity meter SAS4000 (ABEM Instruments)
connected to a multielectrodes system. Pole-dipole array
was used with minimum electrodes spacing on the sur-
face of 5.0 m. The pole-dipole array has relatively very
good horizontal coverage, but it has a significantly higher
signal strength compared with dipole-dipole and it is not
as sensitive to telluric noises as the pole-pole array. In
order to obtained 2-D resistivity models, the data ob-
tained were interpreted through the inversion algorithm,
RES2DINV software [6]. The measured values of ap-
parent resistivity provide, in fact, a first preliminary im-
age of the electrical subsurface structure denominated as
the “pseudosection”. In a second step, the apparent resis-
tivity measurements are transformed into true resistivity
values using the rapid inversion algorithm [6].
4. Results and Discussion
The 2-D resistivity results obtained by the inversion al-
gorithm performed with the RES2DINV software are
shown below. Electrical resistivity values are related to
geological parameters of the subsurface and, in particular,
resistivity values are controlled by the types of rock and
fluid. 2D resistivity results in Figures 1-3 generally
shows the studied area was divided into two main zones,
alluvium with resistivity value of 10 - 800 m, and bed-
rock with resistivity value of > 1500 m and depth of 20
- 40 m. There are lots of fractures zone which is different
than normal identified along the studied survey lines.
Line South-North, the fractured zones were identified at
760 - 3800 m and 4700 - 5900 m. For the West-East line,
the fractured zones were identified at 1545 - 6570 m.
North-West to South-East line, the fractured zone was
identified at 740 - 5850 m and South-West to North-East
line, the fractured zone was identified at 720 - 1520 m.
Figure 4 shows the bedrock topography map of resistiv-
ity surveys with respect to ground surface topography.
The interesting results was indicated at position of longi-
tude; 100.965 - 100.978 and latitude; 5.056 - 5.066
(Black rectangle) where the bedrock depth is 40 - 60 m
from mean-sea-level (MSL) and highly fractured. The
area was surrounded by high elevated bedrock. Table 1
shows one of the borehole data which located at the
studied area that assists in data interpretation of geo-
physical method.
Figure 1. Resistivity section of South to North line, 8 km length. (a) Resistivity section 1520 - 4400 m; (b) Resistivity section
4300 - 6000 m.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. OJG
Figure 2. Resistivity section of West to East line, 0 - 8050 m.
Figure 3. Resistivity section of North-West to South-East line, 1135 - 6610 m.
(a) (b)
Figure 4. Resistivity topography map; (a) gr ound sur f ac e ; (b) bedrock.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. OJG
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. OJG
Table 1. Borehole, BH 3 at Bukit Bunuh with lithology .
depth (m)Lithology Colour
1.50LiteriteYellowish brown and
light grey
Weathered granite to literate.
Existing of pyrite and mica.
3.00Literitelighter grey, yellowish
brown and greenish grey
Weathered granite to literate.
Existing of courser quartz and pyrite
and mica mineral.
Granite impact (Bedrock)
5.00Granite Granite impact (Bedrockdominate
by quartz and feldspar)
6.00GraniteGranite impact (Bedrock)
7.10GraniteGranite impact (Bedrock)
5. Conclusions
[1] J. W. Weymouth, “Geophysical Methods of Archaeo-
Logical Site Survey,” Advance in Archaeological Method
and Theory, Vol. 9, 1986, pp. 370-382.
The 2-D resistivity survey method conducted at Bukit
Bunuh, Malaysia can be used as a geological mapping
tool to provide detail information on underground sub-
surface. The results presented in this paper successfully
detect fractures at various depths and their position. The
highly fractured bedrock was identified at longitude
100.965 - 100.978 and latitude 5.056 - 5.066. This could
be one of the possible causes of the meteorite impact at
this area.
[2] I. Schollar, A. Tabbagh, A. Hesse and I. Herzog, “Ar-
chaeological Prospecting and Remote Sensin Topics in
Remote Sensing,” Cambridge University Press: Cam-
bridge, Vol. 2, 1990.
[3] A. Aspinall, C. Gaffney and A. Schmidt, “Magnetometry
for Archaeologists,” Altamia Press: Lanham, 2008.
[4] L. B. Conyers, “Ground-Penetrating Radar for Anthropo-
logical Research,” Antiquity, Vol. 84, No. 323, 2004, pp.
6. Acknowledgements [5] M. Saidin, “Kajian Perbandingan Tapak Paleolitik Kam-
pung Temelong dengan Kampung Kota Tampan dan
sumbangannya terhadap kebudayaan zaman Pleistosein
akhir di Asia Tenggara,” Malaysia Museum Journal, Vol.
32, 1993.
The authors for this paper would like to thank Centre for
Global Archaeological Research (CGAR) Universiti
Sains Malaysia for assist in financial for this project.
Lastly authors for this paper would like to thank Mr.
Yaakub Othman and Mr. Mydin Jamal for assist in data
acquisition during this project in Bukit Bunuh area.
[6] M. H. Loke and R. D. Barker, “Rapid Least-Squares In-
version of Apparent Resistivity Pseudosections Using a
Quasi-Newton Method,” Geophysical Prospecting, Vol.
44, No. 1, 1996, pp. 131-152.