TY - JOUR

T1 - Probabilistic surface reconstruction from multiple data sets

T2 - An example for the Australian Moho

AU - Bodin, T.

AU - Salmon, M.

AU - Kennett, B. L.N.

AU - Sambridge, M.

PY - 2012/10/1

Y1 - 2012/10/1

N2 - Interpolation of spatial data is a widely used technique across the Earth sciences. For example, the thickness of the crust can be estimated by different active and passive seismic source surveys, and seismologists reconstruct the topography of the Moho by interpolating these different estimates. Although much research has been done on improving the quantity and quality of observations, the interpolation algorithms utilized often remain standard linear regression schemes, with three main weaknesses: (1) the level of structure in the surface, or smoothness, has to be predefined by the user; (2) different classes of measurements with varying and often poorly constrained uncertainties are used together, and hence it is difficult to give appropriate weight to different data types with standard algorithms; (3) there is typically no simple way to propagate uncertainties in the data to uncertainty in the estimated surface. Hence the situation can be expressed by Mackenzie (2004): "We use fantastic telescopes, the best physical models, and the best computers. The weak link in this chain is interpreting our data using 100year old mathematics". Here we use recent developments made in Bayesian statistics and apply them to the problem of surface reconstruction. We show how the reversible jump Markov chain Monte Carlo (rj-McMC) algorithm can be used to let the degree of structure in the surface be directly determined by the data. The solution is described in probabilistic terms, allowing uncertainties to be fully accounted for. The method is illustrated with an application to Moho depth reconstruction in Australia.

AB - Interpolation of spatial data is a widely used technique across the Earth sciences. For example, the thickness of the crust can be estimated by different active and passive seismic source surveys, and seismologists reconstruct the topography of the Moho by interpolating these different estimates. Although much research has been done on improving the quantity and quality of observations, the interpolation algorithms utilized often remain standard linear regression schemes, with three main weaknesses: (1) the level of structure in the surface, or smoothness, has to be predefined by the user; (2) different classes of measurements with varying and often poorly constrained uncertainties are used together, and hence it is difficult to give appropriate weight to different data types with standard algorithms; (3) there is typically no simple way to propagate uncertainties in the data to uncertainty in the estimated surface. Hence the situation can be expressed by Mackenzie (2004): "We use fantastic telescopes, the best physical models, and the best computers. The weak link in this chain is interpreting our data using 100year old mathematics". Here we use recent developments made in Bayesian statistics and apply them to the problem of surface reconstruction. We show how the reversible jump Markov chain Monte Carlo (rj-McMC) algorithm can be used to let the degree of structure in the surface be directly determined by the data. The solution is described in probabilistic terms, allowing uncertainties to be fully accounted for. The method is illustrated with an application to Moho depth reconstruction in Australia.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84868019137&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1029/2012JB009547

DO - 10.1029/2012JB009547

M3 - Article

SN - 2169-9313

VL - 117

JO - Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth

JF - Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth

IS - 10

M1 - B10307

ER -