Summary Developments in instrumentation and processing tools have made 3D resistivity surveys an effective approach in delineating complex geological environments. In the performance of these surveys a large number of data points are produced, and the properties of the dataset should be explored to optimize and coordinate interpretation efforts. In this study, a field 3D dataset was geometrically decomposed into near maximum-coupled (so-called radial) and near null-coupled (so-called tangential) subsets and inverted using a 3D approach. The results indicate that these two models may represent the subsurface at regional and local scales and help in the discrimination of different targets. Introduction Mineral exploration generally employs the DC resistivity method to detect and map targets of interest.