ABSTRACT

Systematic calibration errors must be taken into account because they can substantially impact the accuracy of inverted subsurface resistivity models derived from frequency-domain electromagnetic data, resulting in potentially misleading interpretations. We have developed an approach that uses data acquired at multiple elevations over the same location to assess calibration errors. A significant advantage is that this method does not require prior knowledge of subsurface properties from borehole or ground geophysical data (though these can be readily incorporated if available), and is, therefore, well suited to remote areas. The multielevation data were used to solve for calibration parameters and a single subsurface resistivity model that are self consistent over all elevations. The deterministic and Bayesian formulations of the multielevation approach illustrate parameter sensitivity and uncertainty using synthetic- and field-data examples. Multiplicative calibration errors (gain and phase) were found to be better resolved at high frequencies and when data were acquired over a relatively conductive area, whereas additive errors (bias) were reasonably resolved over conductive and resistive areas at all frequencies. The Bayesian approach outperformed the deterministic approach when estimating calibration parameters using multielevation data at a single location; however, joint analysis of multielevation data at multiple locations using the deterministic algorithm yielded the most accurate estimates of calibration parameters. Inversion results using calibration-corrected data revealed marked improvement in misfit, lending added confidence to the interpretation of these models.

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