Abstract

We have developed a new approach for estimating the location and geometry of several density anomalies that give rise to a complex, interfering gravity field. The user interactively defines the assumed outline of the true gravity sources in terms of points and line segments, and the method estimates sources closest to the specified outline to achieve a match between the predicted and observed gravity fields. Each gravity source is assumed to be a homogeneous body with a known density contrast; different density contrasts may be assigned to each source. Tests with synthetic data show that the method can be of use in estimating (1) multiple laterally adjacent and closely situated gravity sources, (2) single gravity sources consisting of several homogeneous compartments with different density contrasts, and (3) two gravity sources with different density contrasts of the same sign, one totally enclosed by the other. The method is also applied to three different sets of field data where the gravity sources belong to the same categories established in the tests with synthetic data. The method produces solutions consistent with the known geologic attributes of the gravity sources, illustrating its potential practicality.

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