Compressive inversion uses computational algorithms that decrease the time and storage needs of a traditional inverse problem. Most compression approaches focus on the model domain, and very few, other than traditional downsampling focus on the data domain for potential-field applications. To further the compression in the data domain, a direct and practical approach to the adaptive downsampling of potential-field data for large inversion problems has been developed. The approach is formulated to significantly reduce the quantity of data in relatively smooth or quiet regions of the data set, while preserving the signal anomalies that contain the relevant target information. Two major benefits arise from this form of compressive inversion. First, because the approach compresses the problem in the data domain, it can be applied immediately without the addition of, or modification to, existing inversion software. Second, as most industry software use some form of model or sensitivity compression, the addition of this adaptive data sampling creates a complete compressive inversion methodology whereby the reduction of computational cost is achieved simultaneously in the model and data domains. We applied the method to a synthetic magnetic data set and two large field magnetic data sets; however, the method is also applicable to other data types. Our results showed that the relevant model information is maintained after inversion despite using 1%–5% of the data.

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