This project will continue to support and maintenance of ModEM, a three-dimensional (3D) magnetotelluric (MT) inversion software program developed at Oregon State University. The project will complete development of a number of significant improvements to the software, to engage the electromagnetic (EM) and broader geophysical communities in use of MT inversion software by developing and delivering online instructional programs, and to transition ModEM to a sustainable, open-source community facility. The large number of papers citing the software (over 450), and the significant number of registered users (nearly 400), attest to the substantial impact that the release and support of ModEM has had on both basic and applied electromagnetic (EM) geophysical research. As virtually the only parallel 3D MT inversion software that is freely available, ModEM has played a significant role in enabling a 3D revolution in EM methods, and made substantial contributions to the newfound prominence of MT as a tool for understanding solid-earth processes.
Maintaining and further improving ModEM will help sustain and extend the recent substantial impacts that MT and EM methods are having on the broader earth science enterprise. Educational components of the proposal will train scientists, through on-line and in-person short courses, in appropriate use of 3-D MT inversion methods. Part of this effort will be to work with the new IRIS MT equipment facility to engage seismologists (and other geoscientists), and to expand understanding and use of EM methods. 3D MT inversion also has many important applications in resource industries and in the applied environmental sciences. The proposed inversion facility will help develop capacity for these applications, supporting development of both practical and robust software, and knowledgeable and trained users. The open source facility proposed here will also make software freely available for commercial users, with broad and positive societal impact.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.