Abstract

Conventional approaches to residual statics estimation obtain solutions by performing linear inversion of observed traveltime deviations. A crucial component of these procedures is picking time delays; gross errors in these picks are known as "cycle skips" or "leg jumps" and are the bane of linear traveltime inversion schemes.This paper augments Rothman (1985), which demonstrated that the estimation of large statics in noise-contaminated data is posed better as a nonlinear, rather than as a linear, inverse problem. Cycle skips then appear as local (secondary) minima of the resulting nonlinear optimization problem. In the earlier paper, a Monte Carlo technique from statistical mechanics was adapted to perform global optimization, and the technique was applied to synthetic data. Here I present an application of a similar Monte Carlo method to field data from the Wyoming Overthrust belt. Key changes, however, have led to a more efficient and practical algorithm. The new technique performs explicit crosscorrelation of traces. Instead of picking the peaks of these crosscorrelation functions, the method transforms the crosscorrelation functions to probability distributions and then draws random numbers from the distributions. Estimates of statics are now iteratively updated by this procedure until convergence to the optimal stack is achieved.Here I also derive several theoretical properties of the algorithm. The method is expressed as a Markov chain, in which the equilibrium (steady-state) distribution is the Gibbs distribution of statistical mechanics.

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