Improvement of density models of geological structures by fusion of gravity data and cosmic muon radiographies
- 1Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Sorbonne Paris Cité, CNRS – UMR7154, Univ. Paris Diderot, Paris, France
- 2OSUR – Géosciences Rennes, CNRS – UMR6118, Univ. Rennes 1, Rennes, France
- 3Volcano Observatories, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Paris, France
- 4Institut de Physique Nucléaire de Lyon, CNRS – UMR5822, Univ. Claude Bernard, Lyon, France
Abstract. This paper examines how the resolution of small-scale geological density models is improved through the fusion of information provided by gravity measurements and density muon radiographies. Muon radiography aims at determining the density of geological bodies by measuring their screening effect on the natural flux of cosmic muons. Muon radiography essentially works like a medical X-ray scan and integrates density information along elongated narrow conical volumes. Gravity measurements are linked to density by a 3-D integration encompassing the whole studied domain. We establish the mathematical expressions of these integration formulas – called acquisition kernels – and derive the resolving kernels that are spatial filters relating the true unknown density structure to the density distribution actually recovered from the available data. The resolving kernel approach allows one to quantitatively describe the improvement of the resolution of the density models achieved by merging gravity data and muon radiographies. The method developed in this paper may be used to optimally design the geometry of the field measurements to be performed in order to obtain a given spatial resolution pattern of the density model to be constructed. The resolving kernels derived in the joined muon–gravimetry case indicate that gravity data are almost useless for constraining the density structure in regions sampled by more than two muon tomography acquisitions. Interestingly, the resolution in deeper regions not sampled by muon tomography is significantly improved by joining the two techniques. The method is illustrated with examples for the La Soufrière volcano of Guadeloupe.