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Caress, DW, Parker RL.  1989.  Spectral interpolation and downward continuation of marine magnetic anomaly data. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth and Planets. 94:17393-17407.   10.1029/JB094iB12p17393   AbstractWebsite

A two- or three-dimensional treatment of magnetic anomaly data generally requires that the data be interpolated onto a regular grid, especially when the analysis involves transforming the data into the Fourier domain. We present an algorithm for interpolation and downward continuation of magnetic anomaly data that works within a statistical framework. We assume that the magnetic anomaly is a realization of a random stationary field whose power spectral density (PSD) we can estimate; by using the PSD the algorithm produces an array incorporating as much of the information contained in the data as possible while avoiding the introduction of unnecessary complexity. The algorithm has the added advantage of estimating the uncertainty of every interpolated value. Downward continuation is a natural extension of the statistical algorithm. We apply our method to the interpolation of magnetic anomalies from the region around the 95.5°W Galapagos propagating rift onto a regular grid and also to the downward continuation of these data to a depth of 2200 m. We also note that the observed PSD of the Galapagos magnetic anomalies has a minimum at low wave numbers and discuss how this implies that intermediate wavelength (65 km <λ < 1500 km) magnetic anomalies are weaker than suggested by one dimensional spectral analysis of single profiles.

Chapman, DC, Parker RL.  1981.  A theoretical analysis of the diffusion porometer: Steady diffusion through two finite cylinders of different radii. Agricultural Meteorology. 23:9-20.   10.1016/0002-1571(81)90088-1   AbstractWebsite

Calibration and use of the diffusion porometer are imprecise because of imperfect understanding of steady diffusion through a porous material. The case of a flat plate with uniformly distributed right circular cylindrical holes is approximated by diffusion through two finite right circular cylinders: one representing the pore, and one representing the area into which vapor diffuses — its size determined by the mutual interference with neighboring pores. An exact three-dimensional solution is presented. It is found that for large pore spacing the empirical result of Holcomb and Cooke is excellent, but for close pore spacing some error occurs. A method for calculation of true calibration plate resistance is described as well as a method for estimating pore size for an unknown plate or membrane.

Constable, SC, Parker RL, Constable CG.  1987.  Occam's inversion: A practical algorithm for generating smooth models from electromagnetic sounding data. Geophysics. 52:289-300.   10.1190/1.1442303   AbstractWebsite

The inversion of electromagnetic sounding data does not yield a unique solution, but inevitably a single model to interpret the observations is sought. We recommend that this model be as simple, or smooth, as possible, in order to reduce the temptation to overinterpret the data and to eliminate arbitrary discontinuities in simple layered models. To obtain smooth models, the nonlinear forward problem is linearized about a starting model in the usual way, but it is then solved explicitly for the desired model rather than for a model correction. By parameterizing the model in terms of its first or second derivative with depth, the minimum norm solution yields the smoothest possible model. Rather than fitting the experimental data as well as possible (which maximizes the roughness of the model), the smoothest model which fits the data to within an expected tolerance is sought. A practical scheme is developed which optimizes the step size at each iteration and retains the computational efficiency of layered models, resulting in a stable and rapidly convergent algorithm. The inversion of both magnetotelluric and Schlumberger sounding field data, and a joint magnetotelluric‐resistivity inversion, demonstrate the method and show it to have practical application.

Constable, C, Parker R.  1991.  Deconvolution of long-core paleomagnetic measurements: Spline therapy for the linear problem. Geophysical Journal International. 104:453-468.   10.1111/j.1365-246X.1991.tb05693.x   AbstractWebsite

The magnetization of long cores of sedimentary material is often measured in a pass-through magnetometer, whose output is the convolution of the desired function with the broad impulse response of the system. Because of inevitable measurement noise and the inherent poor conditioning of the inverse problem, any attempt to estimate the true magnetization function from the observations must avoid unnecessary amplification of small-scale features which would otherwise dominate the model with deceptively large undulations. We propose the construction of the smoothest possible magnetization model satisfying the measured data to within the observational error. By means of a cubic spline basis in the representations of both the unknown magnetization and the empirically measured response, we facilitate the imposition of maximum smoothness on the unknown magnetization. For our purposes, the smoothest model is the one with the smallest 2-norm of the second derivative, the same criterion used in the construction of cubic spline interpolators. The approach is tested on a marine core that was subsequently sectioned and measured in centimetre-sized individual specimens, with highly satisfactory results. An empirical estimate of the resolution of the method indicates a three-fold improvement in the processed record over the original signal. We illuminate the behaviour of the numerical scheme by showing the relation between our smoothness-maximizing procedure and a more conventional filtering approach. Our solution can indeed be approximated by convolution with a special set of weights, although the approximation may be poor near the ends of the core. In an idealized system we study the question of convergence of the deconvolution process, by whether the model magnetization approaches the true one when the experimental error and other system parameters are held constant, while the spacing between observations is allowed to become arbitrarily small. We find our procedure does in fact converge (under certain conditions) but only at a logarithmic rate. This suggests that further significant improvement in resolution cannot be achieved by increased measurement density or enhanced observational accuracy.

Constable, CG, Parker RL.  1988.  Smoothing, splines and smoothing splines; Their application in geomagnetism. Journal of Computational Physics. 78:493-508.   10.1016/0021-9991(88)90062-9   AbstractWebsite

We discuss the use of smoothing splines (SS) and least squares splines (LSS) in nonparametric regression on geomagnetic data. The distinction between smoothing splines and least squares splines is outlined, and it is suggested that in most cases the smoothing spline is, a preferable function estimate. However, when large data sets are involved, the smoothing spline may require a prohibitive amount of computation; the alternative often put forward when moderate or heavy smoothing is -desired is the least squares spline. This may not be capable of modeling the data adequately since the smoothness of the resulting function can be controlled only by the number and position of the knots. The computational efficiency of the least squares spline may be retained and its principal disadvantage overcome, by adding a penalty term in the square of the second derivative to the minimized functional. We call this modified form a penalized least squares spline, (denoted by PS throughout this work), and illustrate its use in the removal of secular trends in long observatory records of geomagnetic field components. We may compare the effects of smoothing splines, least squares splines, and penalized least squares splines by treating them as equivalent variable-kernel smoothers. As Silverman has shown, the kernel associated with the smoothing spline is symmetric and is highly localized with small negative sidelobes. The kernel for the least squares spline with the same fit to the data has large oscillatory sidelobes that extend far from the central region; it can be asymmetric even in the middle of the interval. For large numbers of data the penalized least squares spline can achieve essentially identical performance to that of a smoothing spline, but at a greatly reduced computational cost. The penalized spline estimation technique has potential widespread applicability in the analysis of geomagnetic and paleomagnetic data. It may be used for the removal of long term trends in data, when either the trend or the residual is of interest.

Constable, CG, Parker RL, Stark PB.  1993.  Geomagnetic field models incorporating frozen-flux constraints. Geophysical Journal International. 113:419-433.   10.1111/j.1365-246X.1993.tb00897.x   AbstractWebsite

Techniques for modelling the geomagnetic field at the surface of Earth's core often penalize contributions at high spherical harmonic degrees to reduce the effect of mapping crustal fields into the resulting field model at the core-mantle boundary (CMB). Ambiguity in separating the observed field into crustal and core contributions makes it difficult to assign error bounds to core field models, and this makes it hard to test hypotheses that involve pointwise values of the core field. The frozen-flux hypothesis, namely that convective terms dominate diffusive terms in the magnetic-induction equation, requires that the magnetic flux through every patch on the core surrounded by a zero contour of the radial magnetic field remains constant, although the shapes, areas and locations (but not the topology) of these patches may change with time. Field models exactly satisfying the conditions necessary for the hypothesis have not yet been constructed for the early part of this century. We show that such models must exist, so testing the frozen-flux hypothesis becomes the question of whether the models satisfying it are geophysically unsatisfactory on other grounds, for example because they are implausibly rough or complicated. We introduce an algorithm to construct plausible fleld models satisfying the hypothesis, and present such models for epochs 1945.5 and 1980. Our algorithm is based on a new parametrization of the field in terms of its radial component B(r) at the CMB. The model consists of values of B(r) at a finite set of points on the CMB, together with a rule for interpolating the values to other points. The interpolation rule takes the specified points to be the vertices of a spherical triangle tessellation of the CMB, with B(r) varying linearly in the gnomonic projections of the spherical triangles onto planar triangles in the planes tangent to the centroids of the spherical triangles. This parametrization of B(r) provides a direct means of constraining the integral invariants required by the frozen-flux hypothesis. Using this parametrization, we have constructed field models satisfying the frozen-flux hypothesis for epochs 1945.5 and 1980, while fitting observatory and survey data for 1945.5 and Magsat data for 1980. We use the better constrained 1980 CMB field model as a reference for 1945.5: we minimize the departure of the 1945.5 CMB field model from a regularized 1980 CMB field model, while constraining the 1945.5 model to have the same null-flux curves and flux through those curves as the 1980 model. The locations, areas and shapes of the curves are allowed to change. The resulting 1945.5 CMB field model is nearly as smooth as that for 1980, fits the data adequately, and satisfies the conditions necessary for the frozen-flux hypothesis.

Constable, CG, Parker RL.  1988.  Statistics of the geomagnetic secular variation for the past 5 m.y.. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth and Planets. 93:11569-11581.   10.1029/JB093iB10p11569   AbstractWebsite

A new statistical model is proposed for the geomagnetic secular variation over the past 5 m.y. Unlike previous models, which have concentrated upon particular kinds of paleomagnetic observables, such as VGP or field direction, the new model provides a general probability density function from which the statistical distribution of any set of paleomagnetic measurements can be deduced. The spatial power spectrum of the present-day nondipole field is consistent with a white source near the core-mantle boundary with Gaussian distribution. After a suitable scaling, the spherical harmonic coefficients may be regarded as statistical samples from a single giant Gaussian process; this is our model of the nondipole field. Assuming that this characterization holds for the fields of the past, we can combine it with an arbitrary statistical description of the dipole. We compute the corresponding probability density functions and cumulative distribution functions for declination and inclination that would be observed at any site on the surface of the Earth. Global paleomagnetic data spanning the past 5 m.y. are used to constrain the free parameters of the model, i.e., those giving the dipole part of the field. The final model has these properties: (1) with two exceptions, each Gauss coefficient is independently normally distributed with zero mean and standard deviation for the nondipole terms commensurate with a white source at the core surface; (2) the exceptions are the axial dipole g1 and axial quadrupole g2 terms; the axial dipole distribution is bimodal and symmetric, resembling a combination of two normal distributions with centers close to the present-day value and its sign-reversed counterpart; (3) the standard deviations of the nonaxial dipole terms g11 and h11 and of the magnitude of the axial dipole are all about 10% of the present-day g1 component; and (4) the axial quadrupole reverses sign with the axial dipole and has a mean magnitude of 6% of its mean magnitude. The advantage of a model specified in terms of the spherical harmonic coefficients is that it is a complete statistical description of the geomagnetic field, capable of simultaneously satisfying many known properties of the field. Predictions about any measured field elements may be made to see if they satisfy the available data.

Constable, CG, Tauxe L, Parker RL.  1998.  Analysis of 11 Myr of geomagnetic intensity variation. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 103:17735-17748.   10.1029/98jb01519   AbstractWebsite

We have conducted a detailed exploratory analysis of an II million year long almost continuous record of relative geomagnetic paleointensity from a sediment core acquired on Deep Sea Drilling Project Leg 73, at Site 522 in the South Atlantic. We assess the quality of the paleointensity record using spectral methods and conclude that the relative intensity record is minimally influenced by climate variations. Isothermal remanence is shown to be the most effective normalizer for these data, although both susceptibility and anhysteretic remanence are also adequate. Statistical analysis shows that the paleointensity variations follow a gamma distribution, and are compatible with predictions from modified paleosecular variation models and global absolute paleointensity data. When subdivided by polarity interval, the variability in paleointensity is proportional to the average, and further, the average is weakly correlated with interval length. Spectral estimates for times from 28.77 until 22.74 Ma, when the reversal rate is about 4 Myr(-1), are compatible with a Poisson model in which the spectrum of intensity variations is dominated by the reversal process in the frequency range 1-50 Mgr(-1) In contrast, between 34.7 and 29.4 Ma, when the reversal rate is about 1.6 Myr(-1), the spectra indicate a different secular variation regime. The magnetic field is stronger, and more variable, and a strong peak in the spectrum occurs at about 8 Myr(-1). This peak magi be a reflection of the same signal as recorded by the small variations known as tiny wiggles seen in marine magnetic anomaly profiles.