Bernhard Weise, PhD student

Joint inversion of magnetotelluric, seismic and gravity data

Supervisors: Dr Max Moorkamp and Dr Stewart Fishwick


Project Overview

Bernhard Weise

Uncovering the links between dynamic processes in the Earth's mantle and surface processes like orogenesis or volcanism is one of the key objectives of modern geosciences. A step towards this aim is the combination of different geophysical observables to create consistent subsurface models of Earth's crust and upper mantle.

The aim of the ESA funded project 3D Earth is to develop a global model of the lithosphere, combinig seismic tomography with satellite gravity and magnetic measurements. Withing this project I will explore the use of joint inversion of magnetotelluric (MT), seismic and gravity data.

A first case study will make use of the MT and seismic data collected within the USArray Project. In this example the advantages of a joint inversion over inversions of individual datasets, the ideal strategy to combine different datasets in order to obtain high-quality underground models and the use of satellite data to cover gaps in spatial data coverage of the ground-based data will be investigated. The results of this tests can then be used in for inversions of other datasets with less homogenious coverage than the USArray.

Key Questions:

  • How does a joint inversion of multiple datasets compare to existing underground models based on inversions of individual datasets?
  • What is the ideal combination of datasets for a joint inversion, balancing the the complexity of the inversion and the quality of the resulting models?
  • How do the limitations of the individual datasets (regarding e.g. resolution) affect the joint inversion?
  • Does a joint inversion benefit from satellite data in case of sparse data coverage of ground-based methods?

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