High resolution local Moho determination using gravity inversion: A case study in Sri Lanka

H. M.I. Prasanna, Wu Chen, H. B. Iz

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The seismic data incorporated in global Moho models are sparse and therefore the interpolation of global Moho depths on a local area may give unrealistic results, especially in regions without adequate seismic information. Gravity inversion is a useful tool that can be used to determine Moho depths in the mentioned regions. This paper describes an interactive way of local Moho depth determination using the gravity inversion method constrained with available seismic data. Before applying inversion algorithms, the Bouguer gravity data is filtered in various stages that reduce the potential bias usually expected in Moho depth determination using gravity methods with constant density contrast assumption. A test area with reliable seismic data is used to validate the results of Moho computation, and subsequently the same computation procedure is applied to the Sri Lankan region. The results of the test area are in better agreement with seismically determined Moho depths than those obtained by global Moho models. In the Sri Lankan region, Moho determination reveals a fairly uniform thin crust of average thickness around 20. km. The overall result suggests that our gravity inversion method is robust and may be suitable for local Moho determination in virgin regions, especially those without sufficient seismic data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-70
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Asian Earth Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2013


  • Density contrast
  • Earth structure
  • Gravity anomalies
  • Gravity inversion
  • Moho discontinuity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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