We have introduced a case study on imaging volcanic units in gas exploration by constraining magnetic amplitude inversions using magnetotelluric (MT) sounding data at sparse locations. Magnetic data can be effective in mapping volcanic units because they have remnant magnetization and significant susceptibility contrast with surrounding rocks. Although magnetic data can identify the lateral distribution of volcanic units, they often have difficulties in defining the depth extent. For this reason, additional structural constraints from other geophysical methods can often help to improve the vertical resolution. Among the independent geophysical methods, MT data can provide the needed structural information at a low cost. We have investigated an approach to combine a set of sparse MT soundings with magnetic amplitude data to image the distribution of volcanics in a basin environment. We first use a blocky 1D MT inversion based on Ekblom norm to obtain the structural constraint, and then we perform a constrained 3D magnetic amplitude inversion to recover the distribution of effective susceptibility by incorporating the structural information from MT soundings. We determine that even a small number of MT stations (e.g., 20) in a 10×14  km area is sufficient to drastically improve the magnetic amplitude inversion. Our results indicate that magnetic amplitude inversion with structural constraint from MT soundings form a practical and cost-effective means to map the lateral and vertical distribution of volcanics.

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