The eigenvalues of the gravity gradient tensor can be expressed as functions of two parameters: a magnitude and a phase. The decomposition gives physical meaning to the eigenvalues: The magnitude measures the amount of curvature, and the phase is related to the type of source. Their understanding allows one to propose new quantities to interpret. As an example, a modified phase eigenvalue offers the interpreter a subtle enhanced version of the vertical gravity gradient, which is evaluated with model data and applied to FALCON airborne gravity gradiometer data from the Perth Basin, Australia.

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