UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Reconstruction of conductivity and susceptibility from the inversion of EM data Zhang, Zhiyi


Both electrical conductivity and magnetic susceptibility are important physical parameters in exploration geophysics, and information about their distributions can be used to determine subsurface structures, and to detect mineral deposits and other natural resources. The ultimate goal of this thesis is to recover conductivity and susceptibility from the inversions of electromagnetic (EM) data from various loop-loop systems. A large number of frequency-domain EM (FEM) data are taken in EM surveys by using different loop configurations, and the inversions of these data may provide independent information about the geological targets. Previous work on the inversions of EM data has involved only horizontal loop sources. Consequently, data measured with other coil systems have been constantly rejected from the inversions. In Chapter 2, I investigate the effect of coil configurations on the inversion and develop an inverse algorithm to invert EM data from different coil systems. EM data can also be measured in the boreholes. Large loop systems which measure transient EM (TEM) data on the ground or in the borehole have found increased application in exploration geophysics. However, the inversion of borehole TEM data has not been fully addressed. In Chapter 3, I investigate whether, and how, the use of borehole data in inversions enhances the recovered models. In geophysical explorations, EM responses are a function of the geometry, conductivity, and susceptibility. The influence from magnetic susceptibility on EM data has long been appreciated, but no existing literature has been found about the reconstruction of susceptibility through rigorous inversions. In most cases magnetic susceptibility has been treated as a source of "contamination" in the inversions, and people have been trying very hard to eliminate that "contamination" by truncating or disregarding the inphase EM data in carrying out inversions. In doing so, useful information about the distribution of magnetic susceptibility is wasted, and the recovered conductivity models become less reliable. In Chapter 4, I study the effect of susceptibility on the data, and reconstruct susceptibility from the inversion when the conductivity distribution is specified. The problem with the individual inversions in Chapters 2, 3 and 4 is that accurate information about either conductivity or susceptibility is required in order to recover the other. Thus, it is necessary to explore the possibility of reconstructing 1-D conductivity and susceptibility simultaneously from the inversion of the EM data. In carrying out simultaneous inversions in Chapter 5, I minimize a global model objective function, which includes both conductivity and susceptibility, subject to the data constraints. The final conductivity and susceptibility models are obtained by adjusting the parameter that controls the relative weighting between the two terms in the model objective function. Much of the work in Chapter 2 to Chapter 5 is done in 1-D environment, while geological targets are usually 3-D. Idealy one would like to carry out 3-D inversion to obtain information about the 3-D targets. Currently, however, full 3-D rigorous inversions of EM data are computationally prohibitive, and approximate 3-D inversions are necessary. In Chapter 6, I develop a linear mapping that can be used to in interpret the data collected in a 3-D environment. The algorithm is applied to a field data set collected over Mt. Milligan. All algorithms have been tested on both synthetic and field data sets. Those tests show that the algorithms are robust to different error assignments, even when the error is correlated. The recovered conductivity and susceptibility models from the inversions of field data have provided useful geological information.

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