Robust Statistical Methods For Reducing Sferics Noise Contaminating Transient Electromagnetic Measurements

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Journal Article: Robust Statistical Methods For Reducing Sferics Noise Contaminating Transient Electromagnetic Measurements

Abstract
The transient electromagnetic (TEM) method is used extensively for mineral exploration and other applications such as geothermal soundings, oil exploration, groundwater pollution, soil salinity and geological mapping. Sferics pulses produced by lightning strokes propagating in the ionosphere-earth waveguide cavity induce noise in a bandwidth of a few Hz to tens of kHz. The usual method of stacking and calculating the mean of a given stack cannot effectively reduce the spike-like noise induced by high-amplitude sferics pulses. To reduce this type of noise, a number of different ways of stacking data were investigated and compared. Noise data were stacked by using robust estimators such as the median, trimmed mean, and a range of M-estimators. Since storage of all the samples of a given stack can take up a prohibitively large amount of microprocessor memory, recursive algorithms for the M-estimators and their standard error were developed for the real-time reduction of sferics pulses. The recursive algorithms have been demonstrated to work effectively on windowed data, and thus the memory normally required to obtain the mean is sufficient for calculation of the M-estimate. In the recursive calculation of the robust estimate of the transient response, the spread of the background noise distribution (known as the scale of the data) needs to be known or calculated. In the algorithm that has been developed, the scale of the data is derived from a noise run carried out before pulsing the transmitter loop with current. It has been assumed that the presence of a signal does not change the scale of the data. This value of the scale of the data has been used to obtain a robust estimate of the transient response itself. To allow for possible changes in the background noise level during a given survey, the estimate of the scale of the data is updated throughout the survey. Many tests of the performance of the recursive algorithms have been carried out with both simulated noise data and sferics data that have been recorded previously on magnetic tape. The results show that for sferics activity as high as that observed in northern latitudes of Australia in summer, a noise reduction by a factor of about 5 (when compared with simple stacking) should be obtained. In areas where sferics noise predominates over geological background signal, such a reduction should lead to an increase in target detection depth by approximately 50%.

Authors 
G. Buselli and M. Cameron








Published Journal 
Geophysics, 1996





DOI 
Not Provided
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Citation

G. Buselli,M. Cameron. 1996. Robust Statistical Methods For Reducing Sferics Noise Contaminating Transient Electromagnetic Measurements. Geophysics. (!) .