Diffraction imaging by focusing-defocusing: An outlook on seismic superresolution
V. Khaidukov, E. Landa, T. J. Moser, 2016. "Diffraction imaging by focusing-defocusing: An outlook on seismic superresolution", Seismic Diffraction, Kamil Klem-Musatov, Henning Hoeber, Michael Pelissier, Tijmen Jan Moser
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Diffractions always need more advertising. It is true that conventional seismic processing and migration are usually successful in using specular reflections to estimate subsurface velocities and reconstruct the geometry and strength of continuous and pronounced reflectors. However, correct identification of geological discontinuities, such as faults, pinch-outs, and small-size scattering objects, is one of the main objectives of seismic interpretation. The seismic response from these structural elements is encoded in diffractions, and diffractions are essentially lost during the conventional processing/migration sequence. Hence, we advocate a diffraction-based, data-oriented approach to enhance image resolution—as opposed to the traditional image-oriented techniques, which operate on the image after processing and migration. Even more: it can be shown that, at least in principle, processing of diffractions can lead to superresolution and the recovery of details smaller than the seismic wavelength.
The so-called reflection stack is capable of effectively separating diffracted and reflected energy on a prestack shot gather by focusing the reflection to a point while the diffraction remains unfocused over a large area. Muting the reflection focus and defocusing the residual wavefield result in a shot gather that contains mostly diffractions. Diffraction imaging applies the classical (isotropic) diffraction stack to these diffraction shot gathers. This focusing-muting-defocusing approach can successfully image faults, small-size scattering objects, and diffracting edges. It can be implemented both in model-independent and model-dependent contexts. The resulting diffraction images can greatly assist the interpreter when used as a standard supplement to full-wave images.
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The use of diffraction imaging to complement the seismic reflection method is rapidly gaining momentum in the oil and gas industry. As the industry moves toward exploiting smaller and more complex conventional reservoirs and extensive new unconventional resource plays, the application of the seismic diffraction method to image sub-wavelength features such as small-scale faults, fractures and stratigraphic pinchouts is expected to increase dramatically over the next few years. “Seismic Diffraction” covers seismic diffraction theory, modeling, observation, and imaging. Papers and discussion include an overview of seismic diffractions, including classic papers which introduced the potential of diffraction phenomena in seismic processing; papers on the forward modeling of seismic diffractions, with an emphasis on the theoretical principles; papers which describe techniques for diffraction mathematical modeling as well as laboratory experiments for the physical modeling of diffractions; key papers dealing with the observation of seismic diffractions, in near-surface-, reservoir-, as well as crustal studies; and key papers on diffraction imaging.