Multiscale analysis of potential fields by a ridge consistency criterion: the reconstruction of the Bishop basement



We use a multiscale approach as a semi-automated interpreting tool of potential fields. The depth to the source and the structural index are estimated in two steps: first the depth to the source, as the intersection of the field ridges (lines built joining the extrema of the field at various altitudes) and secondly, the structural index by the scale function. We introduce a new criterion, called ‘ridge consistency’ in this strategy. The criterion is based on the principle that the structural index estimations on all the ridges converging towards the same source should be consistent. If these estimates are significantly different, field differentiation is used to lessen the interference effects from nearby sources or regional fields, to obtain a consistent set of estimates. In our multiscale framework, vertical differentiation is naturally joint to the low-pass filtering properties of the upward continuation, so is a stable process. Before applying our criterion, we studied carefully the errors on upward continuation caused by the finite size of the survey area. To this end, we analysed the complex magnetic synthetic case, known as Bishop model, and evaluated the best extrapolation algorithm and the optimal width of the area extension, needed to obtain accurate upward continuation. Afterwards, we applied the method to the depth estimation of the whole Bishop basement bathymetry. The result is a good reconstruction of the complex basement and of the shape properties of the source at the estimated points.