Reducing Non-Uniqueness in Satellite Gravity Inversion using 3D Object Oriented Image Analysis Techniques
van der Meijde, Mark; Fadel, Islam; Kerle, Norman

Non-uniqueness of satellite gravity interpretation has been usually reduced by using a priori information from various sources, e.g. seismic tomography models. The reduction in non-uniqueness has been based on velocity-density conversion formulas or user interpretation for 3D subsurface structures (objects) in seismic tomography models. However, these processes introduce additional uncertainty through the conversion relations due to the dependency on the other physical parameters such as temperature and pressure, or through the bias in the interpretation due to user choices and experience.

In this research, a new methodology is introduced to extract the 3D subsurface structures from 3D geophysical data using a state-of-art 3D Object Oriented Image Analysis (OOA) technique. 3D OOA is tested using a set of synthetic models that simulate the real situation in the study area of this research. Then, 3D OOA is used to extract 3D subsurface objects from a real 3D seismic tomography model of eastern Africa. The extracted 3D objects are used to reconstruct a forward model and its response is compared with the measured satellite gravity. Finally, the result of the forward modelling, based on the extracted 3D objects, is used to constrain the inversion process of satellite gravity data.

Through this work, a new object-based approach is introduced to interpret and extract the 3D subsurface objects from 3D geophysical data. This can be used to constrain modelling and inversion of potential field data using the extracted 3D subsurface structures from other methods. In summary, a new approach is introduced to constrain inversion of satellite gravity measurements and enhance interpretation capabilities.