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MARE2DEM: a 2-D inversion code for controlled-source electromagnetic and magnetotelluric data

TitleMARE2DEM: a 2-D inversion code for controlled-source electromagnetic and magnetotelluric data
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsKey K
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Date Published2016/10
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0956-540X
Accession NumberWOS:000384651200036
Keywords2.5d; algorithm; Electromagnetic theory; finite-element-method; hydrocarbons; Inverse theory; magnetotellurics; marine csem; Marine electromagnetics; nonlinear conjugate gradients; Numerical solutions; part 1; scarborough gas-field; sensitivities; unstructured grids

This work presents MARE2DEM, a freely available code for 2-D anisotropic inversion of magnetotelluric (MT) data and frequency-domain controlled-source electromagnetic (CSEM) data from onshore and offshore surveys. MARE2DEM parametrizes the inverse model using a grid of arbitrarily shaped polygons, where unstructured triangular or quadrilateral grids are typically used due to their ease of construction. Unstructured grids provide significantly more geometric flexibility and parameter efficiency than the structured rectangular grids commonly used by most other inversion codes. Transmitter and receiver components located on topographic slopes can be tilted parallel to the boundary so that the simulated electromagnetic fields accurately reproduce the real survey geometry. The forward solution is implemented with a goal-oriented adaptive finite-element method that automatically generates and refines unstructured triangular element grids that conform to the inversion parameter grid, ensuring accurate responses as the model conductivity changes. This dual-grid approach is significantly more efficient than the conventional use of a single grid for both the forward and inverse meshes since the more detailed finite-element meshes required for accurate responses do not increase the memory requirements of the inverse problem. Forward solutions are computed in parallel with a highly efficient scaling by partitioning the data into smaller independent modeling tasks consisting of subsets of the input frequencies, transmitters and receivers. Non-linear inversion is carried out with a new Occam inversion approach that requires fewer forward calls. Dense matrix operations are optimized for memory and parallel scalability using the ScaLAPACK parallel library. Free parameters can be bounded using a new non-linear transformation that leaves the transformed parameters nearly the same as the original parameters within the bounds, thereby reducing non-linear smoothing effects. Data balancing normalization weights for the joint inversion of two or more data sets encourages the inversion to fit each data type equally well. A synthetic joint inversion of marine CSEM and MT data illustrates the algorithm's performance and parallel scaling on up to 480 processing cores. CSEM inversion of data from the Middle America Trench offshore Nicaragua demonstrates a real world application. The source code and MATLAB interface tools are freely available at

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