Abstract

We have developed a gravity interpretation method for estimating the discontinuous basement relief of a sedimentary basin. The density contrast between the basement and the sediments is assumed to be known, and it could be either constant or vary monotonically with depth. The interpretation model consists of a set of vertical, juxtaposed prisms, whose thicknesses are the parameters to be estimated. We used the entropic regularization that combines the minimization of the first-order entropy measure with the maximization of the zeroth-order entropy measure of the solution vector. We validated the method by applying it to synthetic data produced by a simulated basin bordered by high-angle step faults; we obtained a good definition of the relief, particularly of the discontinuities. We also applied the method to a profile across the Büyük Menderes Valley in West Turkey and obtained a solution exhibiting a gravity fault with large slip on the northern border of the valley. When applied to the interpretation of a discontinuous basement relief, the method has a better performance than the global smoothness method. It is comparable to the weighted smoothness method, but it does not require the a priori knowledge about the maximum basin depth.

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