Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 175, Issue 10, pp 3511–3523 | Cite as

A Constrained Scheme for High Precision Downward Continuation of Potential Field Data

  • Jun Wang
  • Xiaohong MengEmail author
  • Zhiwen Zhou


To further improve the accuracy of the downward continuation of potential field data, we present a novel constrained scheme in this paper combining the ideas of the truncated Taylor series expansion, the principal component analysis, the iterative continuation and the prior constraint. In the scheme, the initial downward continued field on the target plane is obtained from the original measured field using the truncated Taylor series expansion method. If the original field was with particularly low signal-to-noise ratio, the principal component analysis is utilized to suppress the noise influence. Then, the downward continued field is upward continued to the plane of the prior information. If the prior information was on the target plane, it should be upward continued over a short distance to get the updated prior information. Next, the difference between the calculated field and the updated prior information is calculated. The cosine attenuation function is adopted to get the scope of constraint and the corresponding modification item. Afterward, a correction is performed on the downward continued field on the target plane by adding the modification item. The correction process is iteratively repeated until the difference meets the convergence condition. The accuracy of the proposed constrained scheme is tested on synthetic data with and without noise. Numerous model tests demonstrate that downward continuation using the constrained strategy can yield more precise results compared to other downward continuation methods without constraints and is relatively insensitive to noise even for downward continuation over a large distance. Finally, the proposed scheme is applied to real magnetic data collected within the Dapai polymetallic deposit from the Fujian province in South China. This practical application also indicates the superiority of the presented scheme.


Potential field data downward continuation constrained strategy 



The authors thank the editors and anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments for improving the paper. This work was supported by (1) the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant No. 41474106 and 41530321); (2) the National Key R&D Program of China (grant No. 2016YFC0303000).


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Geo-detection (China University of Geosciences, Beijing)Ministry of EducationBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Geophysics and Information TechnologyChina University of GeosciencesBeijingChina

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