Three-dimensional joint inversion of traveltime and gravity data across the Chicxulub impact crater

Vermeesch, P.M., Morgan, J.V., Christeson, G.L., Barton, P.J. and Surendra, A. (2009) Three-dimensional joint inversion of traveltime and gravity data across the Chicxulub impact crater Journal of Geophysical Research, 114, (B2), B02105. (doi:10.1029/2008JB005776).


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In 2005 an extensive new seismic refraction data set was acquired over the central part of the Chicxulub impact crater, allowing us to image its structure with much better resolution than before. However, models derived from traveltime data are limited by the available ray coverage and the nonuniqueness that is inherent to all geophysical methods. Therefore, many different models can fit the data equally well. To address these issues, we have developed a new method to simultaneously invert traveltime and gravity data to obtain an integrated model. To convert velocity to density, we use a linear relationship derived from measurements on core from the Chicxulub impact basin, thus providing a reliable conversion equation that is typical for lithologies of the central part of this crater. Prior to utilizing the inversion on the observed data, we have run a suite of tests to establish the optimum weighting between traveltime and gravity constraints, using a synthetic model of central crater structure and the real experimental geometry. These synthetic tests indicate which inversion parameters lead to the best recovery of subsurface structure, as well as which parts of the model are well resolved. We applied the method to all existing gravity data and to seismic refraction data acquired in 1996 and the new, higher-resolution seismic refraction data acquired in 2005. We favor the traveltime model wherever we have sufficient ray coverage and the joint model where we have no ray coverage.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1029/2008JB005776
ISSNs: 0148-0227 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: Chicxulub, joint inversion, impact
ePrint ID: 64288
Date :
Date Event
10 December 2008Submitted
18 February 2009Published
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2009
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 17:20
Further Information:Google Scholar

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