The inversion of gravity data into three-dimensional polyhedral models

R. M. Richardson, S. C. Macinnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


A nonlinear inversion scheme is described for the inversion of gravity data into a three-dimensional polyhedral model. As presented, the inversion scheme is quite general and could have application to a wide range of nonlinear problems. Constraints, in the form of independent geologic information, play an essential role in the analysis. The parameterization of the problem allows inclusion of exact linear constraints to limit possible model shapes and to construct multiple body models. It also significantly reduces the degrees of freedom in a problem and can help the stability of the iterative process. Plausibility constraints are used to limit the total departure of the solution from a starting model known to a specified level of confidence. The optimal trade-off between fitting noisy data and remaining close to a plausible starting model is determined empirically for each problem. The utility of the inversion scheme is illustrated with an example of estimating depth to bedrock from gravity data in Avra Valley, Arizona. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7555-7562
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of geophysical research
Issue numberB6
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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