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Geophysical Data Analysis: Discrete Inverse Theory - 3rd Edition - ISBN: 9780123971609, 9780123977847

Geophysical Data Analysis: Discrete Inverse Theory, Volume 45

3rd Edition

MATLAB Edition

Author: William Menke
Paperback ISBN: 9780128100486
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123971609
eBook ISBN: 9780123977847
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 21st June 2012
Page Count: 330
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Describing Inverse Problems

1.1 Formulating Inverse Problems

1.2 The Linear Inverse Problem

1.3 Examples of Formulating Inverse Problems

1.4 Solutions to Inverse Problems

1.5 Problems


Chapter 2. Some Comments on Probability Theory

2.1 Noise and Random Variables

2.2 Correlated Data

2.3 Functions of Random Variables

2.4 Gaussian Probability Density Functions

2.5 Testing the Assumption of Gaussian Statistics

2.6 Conditional Probability Density Functions

2.7 Confidence Intervals

2.8 Computing Realizations of Random Variables

2.9 Problems


Chapter 3. Solution of the Linear, Gaussian Inverse Problem, Viewpoint 1: The Length Method

3.1 The Lengths of Estimates

3.2 Measures of Length

3.3 Least Squares for a Straight Line

3.4 The Least Squares Solution of the Linear Inverse Problem

3.5 Some Examples

3.6 The Existence of the Least Squares Solution

3.7 The Purely Underdetermined Problem

3.8 Mixed-Determined Problems

3.9 Weighted Measures of Length as a Type of A Priori Information

3.10 Other Types of A Priori Information

3.11 The Variance of the Model Parameter Estimates

3.12 Variance and Prediction Error of the Least Squares Solution

3.13 Problems


Chapter 4. Solution of the Linear, Gaussian Inverse Problem, Viewpoint 2: Generalized Inverses

4.1 Solutions Versus Operators

4.2 The Data Resolution Matrix

4.3 The Model Resolution Matrix

4.4 The Unit Covariance Matrix

4.5 Resolution and Covariance of Some Generalized Inverses

4.6 Measures of Goodness of Resolution and Covariance

4.7 Generalized Inverses with Good Resolution and Covariance

4.8 Sidelobes and the Backus-Gilbert Spread Function

4.9 The Backus-Gilbert Generalized Inverse for the Underdetermined Problem

4.10 Including the Covariance Size

4.11 The Trade-off of Resolution and Variance

4.12 Techniques for Computing Resolution

4.13 Problems


Chapter 5. Solution of the Linear, Gaussian Inverse Problem, Viewpoint 3: Maximum Likelihood Methods

5.1 The Mean of a Group of Measurements

5.2 Maximum Likelihood Applied to Inverse Problem

5.3 Relative Entropy as a Guiding Principle

5.4 Equivalence of the Three Viewpoints

5.5 The F-Test of Error Improvement Significance

5.6 Problems


Chapter 6. Nonuniqueness and Localized Averages

6.1 Null Vectors and Nonuniqueness

6.2 Null Vectors of a Simple Inverse Problem

6.3 Localized Averages of Model Parameters

6.4 Relationship to the Resolution Matrix

6.5 Averages Versus Estimates

6.6 Nonunique Averaging Vectors and A Priori Information

6.7 Problems


Chapter 7. Applications of Vector Spaces

7.1 Model and Data Spaces

7.2 Householder Transformations

7.3 Designing Householder Transformations

7.4 Transformations That Do Not Preserve Length

7.5 The Solution of the Mixed-Determined Problem

7.6 Singular-Value Decomposition and the Natural Generalized Inverse

7.7 Derivation of the Singular-Value Decomposition

7.8 Simplifying Linear Equality and Inequality Constraints

7.9 Inequality Constraints

7.10 Problems


Chapter 8. Linear Inverse Problems and Non-Gaussian Statistics

8.1 L1 Norms and Exponential Probability Density Functions

8.2 Maximum Likelihood Estimate of the Mean of an Exponential Probability Density Function

8.3 The General Linear Problem

8.4 Solving L1 Norm Problems

8.5 The L∞ Norm

8.6 Problems


Chapter 9. Nonlinear Inverse Problems

9.1 Parameterizations

9.2 Linearizing Transformations

9.3 Error and Likelihood in Nonlinear Inverse Problems

9.4 The Grid Search

9.5 The Monte Carlo Search

9.6 Newton’s Method

9.7 The Implicit Nonlinear Inverse Problem with Gaussian Data

9.8 Gradient Method

9.9 Simulated Annealing

9.10 Choosing the Null Distribution for Inexact Non-Gaussian Nonlinear Theories

9.11 Bootstrap Confidence Intervals

9.12 Problems


Chapter 10. Factor Analysis

10.1 The Factor Analysis Problem

10.2 Normalization and Physicality Constraints

10.3 Q-Mode and R-Mode Factor Analysis

10.4 Empirical Orthogonal Function Analysis

10.5 Problems


Chapter 11. Continuous Inverse Theory and Tomography

11.1 The Backus-Gilbert Inverse Problem

11.2 Resolution and Variance Trade-Off

11.3 Approximating Continuous Inverse Problems as Discrete Problems

11.4 Tomography and Continuous Inverse Theory

11.5 Tomography and the Radon Transform

11.6 The Fourier Slice Theorem

11.7 Correspondence Between Matrices and Linear Operators

11.8 The Fréchet Derivative

11.9 The Fréchet Derivative of Error

11.10 Backprojection

11.11 Fréchet Derivatives Involving a Differential Equation

11.12 Problems


Chapter 12. Sample Inverse Problems

12.1 An Image Enhancement Problem

12.2 Digital Filter Design

12.3 Adjustment of Crossover Errors

12.4 An Acoustic Tomography Problem

12.5 One-Dimensional Temperature Distribution

12.6 L1, L2, and L∞ Fitting of a Straight Line

12.7 Finding the Mean of a Set of Unit Vectors

12.8 Gaussian and Lorentzian Curve Fitting

12.9 Earthquake Location

12.10 Vibrational Problems

12.11 Problems


Chapter 13. Applications of Inverse Theory to Solid Earth Geophysics

13.1 Earthquake Location and Determination of the Velocity Structure of the Earth from Travel Time Data

13.2 Moment Tensors of Earthquakes

13.3 Waveform “Tomography”

13.4 Velocity Structure from Free Oscillations and Seismic Surface Waves

13.5 Seismic Attenuation

13.6 Signal Correlation

13.7 Tectonic Plate Motions

13.8 Gravity and Geomagnetism

13.9 Electromagnetic Induction and the Magnetotelluric Method


Chapter 14. Appendices

14.1 Implementing Constraints with Lagrange multipliers

14.2 L2 Inverse Theory with Complex Quantities


Since 1984, Geophysical Data Analysis has filled the need for a short, concise reference on inverse theory for individuals who have an intermediate background in science and mathematics. The new edition maintains the accessible and succinct manner for which it is known, with the addition of:

  • MATLAB examples and problem sets
  • Advanced color graphics
  • Coverage of new topics, including Adjoint Methods; Inversion by Steepest Descent, Monte Carlo and Simulated Annealing methods; and Bootstrap algorithm for determining empirical confidence intervals

Key Features

  • Additional material on probability, including Bayesian influence, probability density function, and metropolis algorithm
  • Detailed discussion of application of inverse theory to tectonic, gravitational and geomagnetic studies
  • Numerous examples and end-of-chapter homework problems help you explore and further understand the ideas presented
  • Use as classroom text facilitated by a complete set of exemplary lectures in Microsoft PowerPoint format and homework problem solutions for instructors


Graduate students and researchers in solid earth geophysics, seismology, atmospheric sciences and other areas of applied physics (e.g. image processing) and mathematics.


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2012
21st June 2012
Academic Press
Paperback ISBN:
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"This is a practical book on data analysis based on numerical Matlab procedures for solving inverse problems with a special application in seismology. The book is useful both as a textbook for graduate students in geophysics and as a numerical data processing reference book for researchers not only in geophysics but also those involved in acoustic tomography and X-ray imaging data processing." --Zentrallblatt MATH 1250

Praise for the second edition:
"The author has produced a meaningful guide to the subject; one which a student (or professional unfamiliar with the field) can follow without great difficulty and one in which many motivational guideposts are provided....I think that the value of the book is outstanding....It deserves a prominent place on the shelf of every scientist or engineer who has data to interpret." --GEOPHYSICS

"As a meteorologist, I have used least squares, maximum likelihood, maximum entropy, and empirical orthogonal functions during the course of my work, but this book brought together these somewhat disparate techniques into a coherent, unified package....I recommend it to meteorologists involved with data analysis and parameterization." --Roland B. Stull, THE BULLETIN OF THE AMERICAN METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY

"This book provides an excellent introductory account of inverse theory with geophysical applications....My experience in using this book, along with supplementary material in a course for the first year graduate students, has been very positive. I unhesitatingly recommend it to any student or researcher in the geophysical sciences." --PACEOPH

Ratings and Reviews

About the Author

William Menke

William Menke is a Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University, USA. His research focuses on the development of data analysis algorithms for time series analysis and imaging in the earth and environmental sciences and the application of these methods to volcanoes, earthquakes and other natural hazards.

Affiliations and Expertise

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, NY, USA