A global optimization algorithm using simulated annealing has advantages over local optimization approaches in that it can escape from being trapped in local minima and it does not require a good initial model and function derivatives to find a global minimum. It is therefore more attractive and suitable for seismic waveform inversion. I adopt an improved version of a simulated annealing algorithm to invert simultaneously for acoustic impedance and layer interfaces from poststack seismic data. The earth's subsurface is overparameterized by a series of microlayers with constant thickness in two-way traveltime. The algorithm is constrained using the low-frequency impedance trend and has been made computationally more efficient using this a priori information as an initial model. A search bound of each parameter, derived directly from the a priori information, reduces the nonuniqueness problem. Application of this technique to synthetic and field data examples helps one recover the true model parameters and reveals good continuity of estimated impedance across a seismic section. This approach has the capability of revealing the high-resolution detail needed for reservoir characterization when a reliable migrated image is available with good well ties.

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