A method to model 3-D sedimentary basins with density contrast varying with depth is presented along with a code GRAV3DMOD. The measured gravity fields, reduced to a horizontal plane, are assumed to be available at grid nodes of a rectangular/square mesh. Juxtaposed 3-D rectangular/square blocks with their geometrical epicenters on top coincide with grid nodes of a mesh to approximate a sedimentary basin. The algorithm based on Newton's forward difference formula automatically calculates the initial depth estimates of a sedimentary basin assuming that 2-D infinite horizontal slabs among which, the density contrast varies with depth could generate the measured gravity fields. Forward modeling is realized through an available code GR3DPRM, which computes the theoretical gravity field of a 3-D block. The lower boundary of a sedimentary basin is formulated by estimating the depth values of the 3-D blocks within predetermined limits. The algorithm is efficient in the sense that it automatically generates the grid files of the interpreted results that can be viewed in the form of respective contour maps. Measured gravity fields pertaining to the Chintalpudi sub-basin, India and the Los Angeles basin, California, USA in which the density contrast varies with depth are interpreted to show the applicability of the method.
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