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A Bayesian trans-dimensional approach for the fusion of multiple geophysical datasets

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date09/2013
JournalJournal of Applied Geophysics
Number of pages17
Original languageEnglish


We propose a Bayesian fusion approach to integrate multiple geophysical datasets with different coverage and sensitivity. The fusion strategy is based on the capability of various geophysical methods to provide enough resolution to identify either subsurface material parameters or subsurface structure, or both. We focus on electrical resistivity as the target material parameter and electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), electromagnetic induction (EMI), and ground penetrating radar (GPR) as the set of geophysical methods. However, extending the approach to different sets of geophysical parameters and methods is straightforward. Different geophysical datasets are entered into a trans-dimensional Markov chain Monte Carlo (McMC) search-based joint inversion algorithm. The trans-dimensional property of the McMC algorithm allows dynamic parameterisation of the model space, which in turn helps to avoid bias of the post-inversion results towards a particular model. Given that we are attempting to develop an approach that has practical potential, we discretize the subsurface into an array of one-dimensional earth-models. Accordingly, the ERT data that are collected by using two-dimensional acquisition geometry are re-casted to a set of equivalent vertical electric soundings. Different data are inverted either individually or jointly to estimate one-dimensional subsurface models at discrete locations. We use Shannon's information measure to quantify the information obtained from the inversion of different combinations of geophysical datasets. Information from multiple methods is brought together via introducing joint likelihood function and/or constraining the prior information. A Bayesian maximum entropy approach is used for spatial fusion of spatially dispersed estimated one-dimensional models and mapping of the target parameter. We illustrate the approach with a synthetic dataset and then apply it to a field dataset We show that the proposed fusion strategy is successful not only in enhancing the subsurface information but also as a survey design tool to identify the appropriate combination of the geophysical tools and show whether application of an individual method for further investigation of a specific site is beneficial. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.