- GeoRef, Copyright 2005, American Geological Institute. Reference includes data supplied by Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Tulsa, OK, United States
We present two methods for inverting surface gravity data to recover a 3-D distribution of density contrast. In the first method, we transform the gravity data into pseudomagnetic data via Poisson's relation and carry out the inversion using a 3-D magnetic inversion algorithm. In the second, we invert the gravity data directly to recover a minimum structure model. In both approaches, the earth is modeled by using a large number of rectangular cells of constant density, and the final density distribution is obtained by minimizing a model objective function subject to fitting the observed data. The model objective function has the flexibility to incorporate prior information and thus the constructed model not only fits the data but also agrees with additional geophysical and geological constraints. We apply a depth weighting in the objective function to counteract the natural decay of the kernels so that the inversion yields depth information. Applications of the algorithms to synthetic and field data produce density models representative of true structures. Our results have shown that the inversion of gravity data with a properly designed objective function can yield geologically meaningful information.