Three-dimensional modelling and inversion of controlled source electromagnetic data

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Title: Three-dimensional modelling and inversion of controlled source electromagnetic data
Authors: Vieira da Silva, Nuno Miguel
Item Type: Thesis or dissertation
Abstract: The marine Controlled Source Electromagnetic (CSEM) method is an important and almost self-contained discipline in the toolkit of methods used by geophysicists for probing the earth. It has increasingly attracted attention from industry during the past decade due to its potential in detecting valuable natural resources such as oil and gas. A method for three-dimensional CSEM modelling in the frequency domain is presented. The electric field is decomposed in primary and secondary components, as this leads to a more stable solution near the source position. The primary field is computed using a resistivity model for which a closed form of solution exists, for example a homogeneous or layered resistivity model. The secondary electric field is computed by discretizing a second order partial differential equation for the electric field, also referred in the literature as the vector Helmholtz equation, using the edge finite element method. A range of methods for the solution of the linear system derived from the edge finite element discretization are investigated. The magnetic field is computed subsequently, from the solution for the electric field, using a local finite difference approximation of Faraday’s law and an interpolation method. Tests, that compare the solution obtained using the presented method with the solution computed using alternative codes for 1D and 3D synthetic models, show that the implemented approach is suitable for CSEM forward modelling and is an alternative to existing codes. An algorithm for 3D inversion of CSEM data in the frequency domain was developed and implemented. The inverse problem is solved using the L-BFGS method and is regularized with a smoothing constraint. The inversion algorithm uses the presented forward modelling scheme for the computation of the field responses and the adjoint field for the computation of the gradient of the misfit function. The presented algorithm was tested for a synthetic example, showing that it is capable of reconstructing a resistivity model which fits the synthetic data and is close to the original resistivity model in the least-squares sense. Inversion of CSEM data is known to lead to images with low spatial resolution. It is well known that integration with complementary data sets mitigates this problem. It is presented an algorithm for the integration of an acoustic velocity model, which is known a priori, in the inversion scheme. The algorithm was tested in a synthetic example and the results demonstrate that the presented methodology is promising for the improvement of resistivity models obtained from CSEM data.
Issue Date: Nov-2011
Date Awarded: Dec-2011
Supervisor: Morgan, Joanna
Sponsor/Funder: Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia
Author: Vieira da Silva, Nuno Miguel
Funder's Grant Number: SFRH/BD/40809/2007
Department: Earth Science and Engineering
Publisher: Imperial College London
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Qualification Name: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Appears in Collections:Earth Science and Engineering PhD theses

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