Two-dimensional magnetotelluric inversion of blocky geoelectrical structures

S. Mehanee*, M. Zhdanov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


This paper demonstrates that there are alternative approaches to the magnetotelluric (MT) inverse problem solution based on different types of geoelectrical models. The traditional approach uses smooth models to describe the conductivity distribution in underground formations. In this paper, we present a new approach, based on approximating the geology by models with blocky conductivity structures. We can select one or another class of inverse models by choosing between different stabilizing functionals in the regularization method. The final decision, whose approach may be used for the specific MT data set, is made on the basis of available geological information. This paper describes a new way of stabilizing two-dimensional MT inversion using a minimum support functional and shows the improvement that it provides over traditional methods for geoelectrical models with blocky structures. The new method is applied to MT data collected for crustal imaging in the Carrizo Plain in California and to MT data collected for mining exploration by INCO Exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberEPM2
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue numberB4
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • electromagnetic
  • magnetotelluric
  • inversion
  • focusing


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