I have developed an improved practical method for interpreting a symmetrical-shaped potential field anomaly due to an isolated source body of regular geometric configuration. The method uses the first-order horizontal derivative of the logarithmically transformed absolute value of the anomaly in estimating the source-body parameters, such as the location, depth of burial, and shape factor. To tackle noise in data, a regularization technique is designed, which ensures a robust estimate of the first-order derivative of logarithmically transformed data. The regularization technique uses an optimal value of regularization parameter that, although noise dependent, requires no a priori knowledge of the noise level in the data. A graphical method is designed to determine an optimal value of the regularization parameter from the position of the local minimum of a specially defined functional with respect to the regularization parameters. Numerical tests have been conducted on the noise-contaminated synthetic data to validate the proposed method. The successful application of the method on published field data for the gravity and magnetic anomaly suggests the applicability of the method.

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