Use of high performance computing and high performance data formats in magnetotelluric data processing and inversion

Alison Kirkby1

1Geoscience Australia, Canberra ACT

Geoscience Australia (GA) has had an ongoing magnetotelluric (MT) program for over a decade. The software available for processing, analysis and inversion of MT data have evolved significantly over this time, partly to make use of increased availability of high performance computing facilities.

GA is a major contributor to the Australian Lithospheric Architecture Magnetotelluric Program (AusLAMP), which aims to collect long period MT data on a 0.5 degree grid across the Australian continent. Data and resistivity models from this program will image the Australian lithospheric conductivity from depths of 10 to 100 km. Given the continental scale and large number of stations being collected, inverting these data to obtain resistivity models of the Australian lithosphere relies on the use of specialised software on high performance computing facilities.

GA is also working to increase accessibility and useability of raw (time series) MT data. To date, large data volumes and inconsistent formats have limited the accessibility of this data. This has meant that it has been difficult to record a transparent workflow from raw to processed data, and then from processed data to modelling and inversion products. GA is working to make use of high performance data formats to facilitate the accessibility and visualisation of this data.

This presentation will detail some of the MT work being done by GA and how the availability of high performance computing facilities is helping to increase the impact and use of MT as a key dataset for understanding the Australian lithosphere.


Dr Alison Kirkby came to Geoscience Australia as a graduate in 2008, and then joined the Geothermal Section. She commenced a PhD in geophysics at the University of Adelaide in 2013, which she completed in 2016 and has since worked in the Magnetotelluric team doing data processing, modelling and interpretation.


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