Singular value decomposition as a denoising tool for airborne time domain electromagnetic data

Abstract : Airborne Time Domain Electromagnetic (TDEM) surveys are increasingly carried out in anthropized areas as part of environmental studies. In such areas, noise arises mainly from either natural sources, such as spherics, or cultural sources, such as couplings with man-made installations. This results in various distortions on the measured decays, which make the EM noise spectrum complex and may lead to erroneous inversion and subsequent misinterpretations. Thresholding and stacking standard techniques, commonly used to filter TDEM data, are less efficient in such environment, requiring a time-consuming and subjective manual editing. The aim of this study was therefore to propose an alternative fast and efficient user-assisted filtering approach. This was achieved using the Singular Value Decomposition (SVD). The SVD method uses the principal component analysis to extract into components the dominant shapes from a series of raw input curves. EM decays can then be reconstructed with particular components only. To do so, we had to adapt and implement the SVD, firstly, to separate clearly and so identify easily the components containing the geological signal, and then to denoise properly TDEM data. The reconstructed decays were used to detect noisy gates on their corresponding measured decays. This denoising step allowed rejecting efficiently mainly spikes and oscillations. Then, we focused on couplings with man-made installations, which may result in artifacts on the inverted models. An analysis of the map of weights of the selected "noisy components" highlighted high correlations with man-made installations localized by the flight video. We had therefore a tool to cull most likely decays biased by capacitive coupling noises. Finally, rejection of decays affected by galvanic coupling noises was also possible locating them through the analysis of specific SVD components. This SVD procedure was applied on airborne TDEM data surveyed by SkyTEM Aps. over an anthropized area, on behalf of the French geological survey (BRGM), near Courtenay in Région Centre, France. The established denoising procedure provides accurate denoising tools and makes, at least, the manual cleaning less time consuming and less subjective.
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Pierre-Alexandre Reninger, Guillaume Martelet, Jacques Deparis, José Perrin, Yan Chen. Singular value decomposition as a denoising tool for airborne time domain electromagnetic data. Journal of Applied Geophysics, Elsevier, 2011, 75 (2), pp.264-276. ⟨10.1016/j.jappgeo.2011.06.034⟩. ⟨insu-00615428⟩

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