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Full-Waveform Inversion of Crosshole Radar Data Based on 2-D Finite-Difference Time-Domain Solutions of Maxwell's Equations

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4 Author(s)
Ernst, J.R. ; Swiss Federal Inst. of Technol., Zurich ; Maurer, H.. ; Green, A.G. ; Holliger, K..

Crosshole radar techniques are important tools for a wide range of geoscientific and engineering investigations. Unfortunately, the resolution of crosshole radar images may be limited by inadequacies of the ray tomographic methods that are commonly used in inverting the data. Since ray methods are based on high-frequency approximations and only account for a small fraction of the information contained in the radar traces, they are restricted to resolving relatively large-scale features. As a consequence, the true potential of crosshole radar techniques has yet to be realized. To address this issue, we introduce a full-waveform inversion scheme that is based on a finite-difference time-domain solution of Maxwell's equations. We benchmark our new scheme on synthetic crosshole data generated from suites of increasingly complex models. The full-waveform tomographic images accurately reconstruct the following: (1) the locations, sizes, and electrical properties of isolated subwavelength objects embedded in homogeneous media; (2) the locations and sizes of adjacent subwavelength objects embedded in homogeneous media; (3) abrupt media boundaries and average and stochastic electrical property variations of heterogeneous layered models; and (4) the locations, sizes, and electrical conductivities of water-filled tunnels and closely spaced subwavelength pipes embedded in heterogeneous layered models. The new scheme is shown to be remarkably robust to the presence of uncorrelated noise in the radar data. Several limitations of the full-waveform tomographic inversion are also identified. For typical crosshole acquisition geometries and parameters, small resistive bodies and small closely spaced dielectric objects may be difficult to resolve. Furthermore, electrical property contrasts may be underestimated. Nevertheless, the full-waveform inversions usually provide substantially better results than those supplied by traditional ray methods.

Published in:

Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:45 ,  Issue: 9 )