We have developed a synthetic multiparametric modeling and inversion exercise undertaken to study the robustness of inverting airborne time-domain electromagnetic (TDEM) data to extract Cole-Cole parameters. The following issues were addressed: nonuniqueness, ill posedness, dependency on manual processing and the effect of constraints, and a priori information. We have used a 1D layered earth model approximation and lateral constraints. Synthetic simulations were performed for several models and the corresponding Cole-Cole parameters. The possibility to recover these models by means of laterally constrained multiparametric inversion was evaluated, including recovery of chargeability distributions from shallow and deep targets based on analysis of induced polarization (IP) effects, simulated in airborne TDEM data. Different scenarios were studied, including chargeable targets associated with the conductive and resistive environments. In particular, four generic models were considered for the exercise: a sulfide model, a kimberlite model, and two generic models focusing on the depth of investigation. Our study indicated that, in cases when relaxation time (τ) values are in the range to which the airborne electromagnetic is most sensitive (e.g., approximately 1 ms), it is possible to recover deep chargeable targets (to depths more than 130 m) in association with high electrical conductivity and in resistive environments. Furthermore, it was found that the recovery of a deep conductor, masked by a shallower chargeable target, became possible only when full Cole-Cole modeling was used in the inversion. Lateral constraints improved the recoverability of model parameters. Finally, modeling IP effects increased the accuracy of recovered electrical resistivity models.

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