A review of some useful algorithms in geophysics

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 74, No. 828, 1981

DOUGLAS C. FRASER, Fraser Consultants Inc., Mississauga, Ontario

Geophysical data are often presented on maps, sections or profiles with minimal data processing. A common example is magnetic data, in which the diurnal-free raw readings are merely contoured on a map. Other examples include profile presentation of VLF-EM data, IP pseudo-sections and airborne EM anomalies which may be shown on a map with only the measured amplitudes indicated.In recent years, efforts have been directed to the portraying of data in more useful forms. A number of algorithms (i.e., manipulative procedures and equations) have proven to contribute significantly to the usefulness of geophysical data. Some can be applied manually; others are sufficiently complicated to require a computer. Some merely alter the data to a more useful geometric form without altering the units. Others yield quantitative estimates of source body parameters such as conductivity and shape. Several examples follow: 1. A simple algorithm is in common use which transforms noisy non-contourable VLF-EM data into less noisy con-tourable data. The input is the dip angle in degrees or per cent and the output is also in these same units.2. A simple algorithm has recently been developed which allows multi-level dipole-dipole IP data to be contoured on a map. Again, the units are not altered.3. A relatively complicated algorithm is in common use which transforms non-contourable height-sensitive helicopter EM data into contourable resistivity data.4. An algorithm has been recently developed which transforms non-contourable height-sensitive EM data into contourable weight per cent magnetite.The purpose of all the above techniques is to present the data in a simplified form. This, in turn, allows an easier assimilation by the user of much of the information content of the data.
Keywords: Exploration, Geophysical exploration, Algorithms, Data processing, Electromagnetic methods, Induced polarization, Resistivity, Magnetometers, Magusi River deposits.