Artificial neural networks for removal of couplings in airborne transient electromagnetic data
K.K. Andersen, C. Kirkegaard, N. Foged, A.V. Christiansen and E. Auken
Journal name: Geophysical Prospecting
Issue: Vol 64, No 3, May 2016 pp. 741 - 752
Info: Article, PDF ( 15.5Mb )
Modern airborne transient electromagnetic surveys typically produce datasets of thousands of line kilometres, requiring careful data processing in order to extract as much and as reliable information as possible. When surveys are flown in populated areas, data processing becomes particularly time consuming since the acquired data are contaminated by couplings to man-made conductors (power lines, fences, pipes, etc.). Coupled soundings must be removed from the dataset prior to inversion, and this is a process that is difficult to automate. The signature of couplings can be both subtle and difficult to describe in mathematical terms, rendering removal of couplings mostly an expensive manual task for an experienced geophysicist. Here, we try to automate the process of removing couplings by means of an artificial neural network. We train an artificial neural network to recognize coupled soundings in manually processed reference data, and we use this network to identify couplings in other data. The approach provides a significant reduction in the time required for data processing since one can directly apply the network to the raw data. We describe the neural network put to use and present the inputs and normalizations required for maximizing its effectiveness. We further demonstrate and assess the training state and performance of the network before finally comparing inversions based on unprocessed data, manually processed data, and artificial neural network automatically processed data. The results show that a well-trained network can produce high-quality processing of airborne transient electromagnetic data, which is either ready for inversion or in need of minimal manual processing. We conclude that the use of artificial neural network scan significantly reduce the processing time and its costs by as much as 50%.