A principal difficulty with the inversion of gravity data is the inherent non-uniqueness that exists in any geophysical method based upon a static potential field: since the gravity field is known only on the surface of the earth, there are infinitely many equivalent density distributions beneath the surface that will reproduce the known field.

However a proper manipulation of the recorded gravity anomaly together with an adequate choice of the model representation can turn the inversion of the potential-field data into a valid ally for the basement delineation as witnessed by a large number of publications.

Under certain assumptions, the method for the estimation of the depth of the basement can be adapted for salt-base delineation: this approach enables an integrated earth model building workflow that exploits the potential-field data library of the client to complement and, if needed, to disambiguate the seismic image.

A synthetic example based on a complex salt province is used to illustrate the modelling and inversion process, together with its outcomes.


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