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Nonlinear inversion of borehole-radar tomography data to reconstruct velocity and attenuation distribution in earth materials

Chaoguang Zhou
Department of Geology and Geophysics, 354 Mansfield Road, U-45, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-2045, USA

Lanbo Liu
Department of Geology and Geophysics, 354 Mansfield Road, U-45, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-2045, USA

John W. Lane Jr.
Branch of Geophysics, U.S. Geological Survey, 11 Sherman Place, U-5015, Storrs, CT 06269, USA

Abstract

A nonlinear tomographic inversion method that uses first-arrival travel-time and amplitude-spectra information from cross-hole radar measurements was developed to simultaneously reconstruct electromagnetic velocity and attenuation distribution in earth materials. Inversion methods were developed to analyze single cross-hole tomography surveys and differential tomography surveys. Assuming the earth behaves as a linear system, the inversion methods do not require estimation of source radiation pattern, receiver coupling, or geometrical spreading. The data analysis and tomographic inversion algorithm were applied to synthetic test data and to cross-hole radar field data provided by the US Geological Survey (USGS) . The cross-hole radar field data were acquired at the USGS fractured-rock field research site at Mirror Lake near Thornton, New Hampshire, before and after injection of a saline tracer, to monitor the transport of electrically conductive fluids in the image plane.

Results from the synthetic data test demonstrate the algorithm computational efficiency and indicate that the method robustly can reconstruct electromagnetic (EM) wave velocity and attenuation distribution in earth materials. The field test results outline zones of velocity and attenuation anomalies consistent with the finding of previous investigators; however, the tomograms appear to be quite smooth. Further work is needed to effectively find the optimal smoothness criterion in applying the Tikhonov regularization in the nonlinear inversion algorithms for cross-hole radar tomography.


Final copy as submitted to Journal of Applied Geophysics for publication as: Zhou, Chaoguang, Liu, Lanbo, and Lane, J.W., Jr., 2001, Nonlinear inversion of borehole-radar tomography data to reconstruct velocity and attenuation distribution in earth materials: Journal of Applied Geophysics, v.47, p.271-284.


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