Abstract

We applied the mathematical basis of the total variation (TV) regularization to analyze the physicogeologic meaning of the TV method and compared it with previous gravity inversion methods (weighted smoothness and entropic Regularization) to estimate discontinuous basements. In the second part, we analyze the physicogeologic meaning of the TV method and compare it with previous gravity inversion methods (weighted smoothness and entropic regularization) to estimate discontinuous basements. Presenting a mathematical review of these methods, we show that minimizing the TV stabilizing function favors discontinuous solutions because a smooth solution, to honor the data, must oscillate, and the presence of these oscillations increases the value of the TV stabilizing function. These three methods are applied to synthetic data produced by a simulated 2D graben bordered by step faults. TV regularization and weighted smoothness are also applied to the real anomaly of Steptoe Valley, Nevada, U.S.A. In all applications, the three methods perform similarly. TV regularization, however, has the advantage, compared with weighted smoothness, of requiring no a priori information about the maximum depth of the basin. As compared with entropic regularization, TV regularization is much simpler to use because it requires, in general, the tuning of just one regularization parameter.

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