We present a method for automatic velocity analysis of seismic data based on differential semblance optimization (DSO). The data are mapped for each offset from the time domain to the depth domain by a Born migration scheme using ray tracing with the efficient wavefront construction method. The DSO cost functional is evaluated by taking differences of the migration images for neighboring offsets. The gradient of this functional with respect to the underlying velocity model is obtained by a first-order approximation of the adjoint-state method, leading to an optimal complexity: the cost of evaluating the gradient is about the same as that of evaluating the functional.

The method has been applied to a marine line. Multiples turned out to be a problem, but were handled effectively by incorporating a multiple filter inside the DSO cost functional.

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