Abstract

A hybrid wave-equation traveltime and waveform inversion method is presented that reconstructs the interwell velocity distribution from crosshole seismic data. This inversion method, designated as WTW, retains the advantages of both full wave inversion and traveltime inversion; i.e., it is characterized by reasonably fast convergence which is somewhat independent of the initial model, and it can resolve detailed features of the velocity model. In principle, no traveltime picking is required and the computational cost of the WTW method is about the same as that for full wave inversion.We apply the WTW method to synthetic data and field crosshole data collected by Exxon at their Friendswood, Texas, test site. Results show that the WTW tomograms are much richer in structural information relative to the traveltime tomograms. Subtle structural features in the WTW Friendswood tomogram are resolved to a spatial resolution of about 1.5 m, yet are smeared or completely absent in the traveltime tomogram. This suggests that it might be better to obtain high quality (distinct reflections) crosshole data at intermediate frequencies, compared to intermediate quality data (good quality first arrivals, but the reflections are buried in noise) at high frequencies.Comparison of the reconstructed velocity profile with a log in the source well shows very good agreement within the 0-200 m interval. The 200-300 m interval shows acceptable agreement in the velocity fluctuations, but the tomogram's velocity profile differs from the sonic log velocities by a DC shift. This highlights both the promise and the difficulty with the WTW method; it can reconstruct both the intermediate and high wavenumber parts of the model, but it can have difficulty recovering the very low wavenumber parts of the model.

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