Gravity survey data captures density variations in the Earth’s crust and is commonly used for mineral, oil and gas exploration. For example, subsurface distributions of different rock types that vary in their density are visible in gravity data, which can be used to understand the geology of an area. Full tensor gradient (FTG) data measures the second spatial derivative of Earth’s gravity potential in all three dimensions, which provides five gradient derivative values for each sampled location. FTG data has a greater sensitivity to shallow masses as weak lateral changes in the gravitational field are captured by the various components of the tensor. This sensitivity enables a small shallow mass anomaly to be better differentiated from a deep large mass anomaly, compared to traditional gravity surveys. In the future, FTG data will become more widespread as airborne gravity surveys become more common; the rapid collection of such data requires an effective method for processing and understanding it.
We present preliminary results of two aspects of our research into FTG data analysis:
This project is funded by a UWA Research Development Award for the duration of 2012.