Large-scale focusing joint inversion of gravity and magnetic data with Gramian constraint

Saeed Vatankhah, Rosemary A. Renaut, Xingguo Huang, Kevin Mickus, Mostafa Gharloghi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A fast algorithm for the large-scale joint inversion of gravity and magnetic data is developed. The algorithm uses a non-linear Gramian constraint to impose correlation between the density and susceptibility of the reconstructed models. The global objective function is formulated in the space of the weighted parameters, but the Gramian constraint is implemented in the original space, and the non-linear constraint is imposed using two separate Lagrange parameters, one for each model domain. It is significant that this combined approach, using the two spaces provides more similarity between the reconstructed models. Moreover, it is shown theoretically that the gradient for the use of the unweighted space is not a scalar multiple of that used for the weighted space, and hence cannot be accounted for by adjusting the Lagrange parameters. It is assumed that the measured data are obtained on a uniform grid and that a consistent regular discretization of the volume domain is imposed. Then, the sensitivity matrices exhibit a block-Toeplitz-Toeplitz-block structure for each depth layer of the model domain, and both forward and transpose operations with the matrices can be implemented efficiently using two dimensional fast Fourier transforms. This makes it feasible to solve for large scale problems with respect to both computational costs and memory demands, and to solve the non-linear problem by applying iterative methods that rely only on matrix-vector multiplications. As such, the use of the regularized reweighted conjugate gradient algorithm, in conjunction with the structure of the sensitivity matrices, leads to a fast methodology for large-scale joint inversion of geophysical data sets. Numerical simulations demonstrate that it is possible to apply a non-linear joint inversion algorithm, with Lp-norm stabilisers, for the reconstruction of large model domains on a standard laptop computer. It is demonstrated, that while the p = 1 choice provides sparse reconstructed solutions with sharp boundaries, it is also possible to use p = 2 in order to provide smooth and blurred models. The methodology is used for inverting gravity and magnetic data obtained over an area in northwest of Mesoproterozoic St Francois Terrane, southeast of Missouri, USA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1585-1611
Number of pages27
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022


  • Gravity anomalies and Earth structure
  • Joint inversion
  • Magnetic anomalies: modelling and interpretation
  • Numerical approximations and analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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