Global Moho gravity inversion from GOCE data: Updates and convergence assessment of the GEMMA model algorithm

Lorenzo Rossi, Biao Lu, Mirko Reguzzoni, Daniele Sampietro, I. Fadel, M. van der Meijde

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Since its discovery in 1909, the Moho was routinely studied by seismological methods. However, from the 1950s, a possible alternative was introduced by gravimetric inversion. Thanks to satellite gravity missions launched from the beginning of the 21st century, a global inversion became feasible, e.g., leading to the computation of the GEMMA model in 2012. This model was computed inverting the GOCE second radial derivatives of the anomalous potential by a Wiener filter, which was applied in the spherical harmonic domain, considering a two-layer model with lateral and vertical density variations. Moreover, seismic information was introduced in the inversion to deal with the joint estimation/correction of both density and geometry of the crustal model. This study aims at revising the GEMMA algorithm from the theoretical point of view, introducing a cleaner formalization and studying the used approximations more thoroughly. The updates are on: (1) the management of the approximations due to the forward operator linearization required for the inversion; (2) the regularization of spherical harmonic coefficients in the inversion by proper modelling the Moho signal and the gravity error covariances; (3) the inclusion of additional parameters and their regularization in the Least Squares adjustment to correct the density model by exploiting seismic information. Thanks to these updates, a significant improvement from the computational point of view is achieved too, thus the convergence of the iterative solution and the differences with respect to the previous algorithm can be assessed by closed-loop tests, showing the algorithm performance in retrieving the simulated “true” Moho.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5646
JournalRemote sensing
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2022




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