A Neural Network-Based Hybrid Framework for Least-Squares Inversion of Transient Electromagnetic Data

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Inversion of large-scale time-domain transient electromagnetic (TEM) surveys is computationally expensive and time-consuming. The calculation of partial derivatives for the Jacobian matrix is by far the most computationally intensive task, as this requires calculation of a significant number of forward responses. We propose to accelerate the inversion process by predicting partial derivatives using an artificial neural network. Network training data for resistivity models for a broad range of geological settings are generated by computing partial derivatives as symmetric differences between two forward responses. Given that certain applications have larger tolerances for modeling inaccuracy and varying degrees of flexibility throughout the different phases of interpretation, we present four inversion schemes that provide a tunable balance between computational time and inversion accuracy when modeling TEM datasets. We improve speed and maintain accuracy with a hybrid framework, where the neural network derivatives are used initially and switched to full numerical derivatives in the final iterations. We also present a full neural network solution where neural network forward and derivatives are used throughout the inversion. In a least-squares inversion framework, a speedup factor exceeding 70 is obtained on the calculation of derivatives, and the inversion process is expedited ~36 times when the full neural network solution is used. Field examples show that the full nonlinear inversion and the hybrid approach gives identical results, whereas the full neural network inversion results in higher deviation but provides a reasonable indication about the overall subsurface geology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4503610
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Computational modeling
  • Conductivity
  • Data models
  • Forward modeling
  • Jacobian matrices
  • Jacobian matrix
  • Logic gates
  • Mathematical model
  • Neurons
  • inverse modeling
  • neural networks
  • transient electromagnetics (TEM).


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