Open Access

A computing method for 3D magnetotelluric modelling directed by polynomials

Earth, Planets and Space201451:BF03351573

Received: 2 November 1998

Accepted: 12 April 1999

Published: 20 June 2014


A computational method for automatic 3D MT modelling is described. Making use of a recent publicly available forward algorithm, our method allows unattended search for a 3D conductivity model. The geometry of the conductivity features is described by a set of mathematical functions of the horizontal coordinates x and y and of a fixed number of parameters. Starting from a presumed conductivity distribution, our scheme automatically varies the parameters in a steepest descent control loop, until the misfit between the model response and the measured data reaches an allowable value. To illustrate the method, we apply it to MT and induction data gathered in the Swiss Alps and determine the depth and lateral extension of a highly conductive, graphite-bearing layer.