The Bayesian inversion method is a stochastic approach based on the Bayesian theory. With the development of sampling algorithms and computer technologies, the Bayesian inversion method has been widely used in geophysical inversion problems. In this study, we conduct inversion experiments using crosshole seismic travel-time data to examine the characteristics and performance of the stochastic Bayesian inversion based on the Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling scheme and the traditional deterministic inversion with Tikhonov regularization. Velocity structures with two different spatial variations are considered, one with a chessboard pattern and the other with an interface mimicking the Mohorovičić discontinuity (Moho). Inversions are carried out with different scenarios of model discretization and source–receiver configurations. Results show that the Bayesian method yields more robust single-model estimations than the deterministic method, with smaller model errors. In addition, the Bayesian method provides the posterior probabilistic distribution function of the model space, which can help us evaluate the quality of the inversion result.
We use broadband records from a dense seismic network deployed in and around the Qaidam Basin in northwestern China to analyze the crustal phases and investigate the depth of the Conrad and Moho discontinuities as well as the P-wave velocity. Waveform cross-correlation is used to assist in the identification of the crustal phases and in determining their arrival times. Depth of the Conrad discontinuity is determined by fitting the travel times of Conrad-diffracted P-waves using a two-layer model. The depth of the Conrad discontinuity under the eastern part of the basin is shallower than the western part, which can be attributed to different crustal shortening mechanisms. The upper crust shortening in the western part of the basin leads to thickening of the upper crust, while multiple thrust faults result in the rise of the Conrad discontinuity in the east. These two different mechanisms determine the depth change of the Conrad discontinuity in the basin from the west to the east, which is supported by the results in this study.