Edge enhancement and detection techniques are fundamental operations in magnetic data interpretation. Many techniques for edge enhancement have been developed, some based on profile data and others designed for grid-based data sets. Methods that are traditionally applied to magnetic data, such as total horizontal derivative (THD) and analytic signal (AS), require the computation of integer-order horizontal and vertical derivatives of the magnetic data. However, if the data set contains features with a large variation in amplitude, then the features with small amplitudes may be difficult to outline. In addition, because most edge enhancement and detection filters are derivative-based filters, they also amplify high-frequency noise content in the data. As a result, the accuracy of derivative-based filters is restricted to data of high quality. We suggested the modification of the THD and AS filters by combining the amplitude spectra of fractional-order-derivative filters with ad hoc phase spectra, particularly designed for edge detection in magnetic data. We revealed the capability of the proposed algorithm on synthetic magnetic data and on aeromagnetic data from Turkey. Compared with the traditional use of THD and AS (with integer-order derivatives), we developed the method based on fractional-order derivatives that produced more effective results in terms of suppressing noise and delineating the edges of deep sources.

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