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Current information for 2023/2024

Information from 2021/2022

AARMS Collaborative Research Group:
Numerical Solution of Geophysical Inverse Problems

If you are interested in joining this collaboration, please contact the administrator: plelievre@mta.ca


Geophysical inversion is very much an interdisciplinary field, combining aspects of mathematics, computer science, physics and Earth sciences. Geophysical inversion generates models (three-dimensional spatial representations) of the physical properties of the Earth's subsurface that could have given rise to measured data from a geophysical survey: for example, gravity, magnetic, electrical and electromagnetic measurements taken at, above or below ground level. Inversion is a computationally intensive procedure, relying on accurate numerical solution of the differential equations that describe the physical phenomena involved, and development of numerical optimization routines tailored to the specific inverse problem at hand. Geophysical inversion provides a non-invasive method for building models of the subsurface that can be used to inform decision makers before invasive inspection is employed. These techniques have proven helpful for addressing a wide range of practical problems in various fields, including resource exploration, natural hazard mitigation, archaeology, agriculture and many other environmental and civil engineering investigations. However, most existing popular geophysical modelling algorithms apply early, perhaps even obsolete, numerical optimization methods in their solution. Such methods have proven inadequate for more complicated geophysical modelling problems and further research is needed to design, test, apply and tune new numerical methods.


Please contact the administrator (plelievre@mta.ca) if you would like to be listed as a participant below, or removed from those lists.

Please contact the discussion group coordinator (svatankhah@mta.ca) if you would like to be on the email reminder list, or removed from it.

Academic Administrator

Discussion Group Coordinator

Participants from AARMS Member Universities

Participants from Other Universities

AARMS Geophysical Inverse Problems Discussion Series - Part 1

Are you looking for the list of papers from the first part of our discussion series, from 2022? Click here and scroll down.

AARMS Geophysical Inverse Problems Discussion Series - Part 2

As in Part 1, in these meetings we plan to discuss papers that introduce geophysical inverse problems that involve more difficult numerical optimization problems to solve. Our first stage of discussions in 2022 helped to identify and better understand some of these types of more complicated inverse problems. In this second stage of discussions, we hope to dive a little deeper in to the mathematics of how those optimization problems are solved. We hope this discussion series helps to educate us all on aspects of geophysical inverse problems that perhaps we have not thought about before, whether you are a student, more senior researcher, code developer or practitioner.

Please contact the organizers if there are any papers that you would like the group to discuss. We are very open to suggestions.

We recognize that participants are coming with very different backgrounds. We hope that we can all help each other understand and gain insight from the material that we discuss. We encourage participants to ask any questions they want on any level of the mathematics or geophysics involved.

Links to papers will be provided below. We may also refer to one or more optimization textbooks throughout the discussion series. This one aimed at an undergraduate audience and we will likely use this:

These two are fairly well known to some of us but aimed at graduate level so perhaps a little heavier and less digestible than you may want: Note that you can find all three of those in pdf format with a web search. Legality unclear.

This paper discussion series will take place every second Monday, online via zoom using a different link each week. Please scroll to the bottom of the page to find the Zoom link for the next meeting.

Time, in various time zones, with no accounting for whether your country does the silly daylight savings thing,
so please synchronize to Atlantic Canadian time:

Very tentative schedule (please watch for changes):