CSEM Uncertainties and Inversion

Myer, David (Scripps Institution of Oceanography) | Constable, Steven (Scripps Institution of Oceanography) | Key, Kerry (Scripps Institution of Oceanography)



Uncertainties in marine controlled source electromagnetic (CSEM) data consist of two independent parts: measurement noise and position uncertainties. Measurement noise can be readily determined using stacking statistics in the Fourier domain. The uncertainties due to errors in position can be estimated using perturbation analysis given estimates of the uncertainties in transmitter-receiver geometries. However, the various geometric parameters are not independent (e.g. change in antenna dip affects antenna altitude, etc.) so how uncertainties derived from perturbation analysis can be combined to derive error-bars on CSEM data is not obvious. In this study, we use data from the 2009 survey of the Scarborough gas field to demonstrate that (a) a repeat tow may be used to quantify uncertainties from geometry, (b) perturbation analysis also yields a good estimate of data uncertainties as a function of range and frequency so long as the components are added arithmetically rather than in quadrature, and (c) lack of a complex error structure in inversion yields model results which are unrealistic and leads to “over-selling” of the capabilities of CSEM at any particular prospect.