Abstract / Description of output
The ultimate goal of a scientific investigation is usually to find answers to specific, often lowdimensional questions: what is the size of a subsurface body? Does a hypothesised subsurface feature exist? Existing information is reviewed, an experiment is designed and performed to acquire new data, and the most likely answer is estimated. Typically the answer is interpreted from geological and geophysical data or models, but is biased because only one particular forward function is considered, one inversion method is applied, and because human interpretation is a biased process. Interrogation theory provides a systematic way to answer specific questions by combining forward, design, inverse and decision theories. The optimal answer is made more robust since it balances multiple possible forward models, inverse algorithms and model parametrizations, probabilistically. In a synthetic test, we evaluate the area of a lowvelocity anomaly by interrogating Bayesian tomographic results. By combining the effect of four inversion algorithms, the optimal answer is very close to the true answer, even on a coarsely gridded parametrisation. In a field data test, we evaluate the volume of the East Irish Sea basins using probabilistic 3D shear wave speed depth inversion results. This example shows that interrogation theory provides a useful way to answer realistic questions about the Earth. A key revelation is that while the majority of computation may be spent solving inverse problems, much of the skill and effort involved in answering questions may be spent defining and calculating target function values in a clear and unbiased manner.
Original language  English 

Article number  e2022JB024098 
Journal  Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 
Volume  127 
Issue number  4 
Early online date  11 Apr 2022 
DOIs  
Publication status  Published  Apr 2022 
Keywords / Materials (for Nontextual outputs)
 Bayesian inference
 imaging
 probability distribution
 seismic tomography
 uncertainty analysis
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Data used in paper :''Interrogating Subsurface Structures using Probabilistic Tomography: an example assessing the volume of Irish Sea basins''.
Galetti, E. (Creator) & Zhao, X. (Creator), Edinburgh DataShare, 4 Apr 2022
DOI: 10.7488/ds/3431, https://doi.org/10.1002/essoar.10510266.1
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