Application of 2D frequency-domain waveform tomography to a data set from a high-resolution vertical seismic profiling (VSP) experiment at a groundwater contamination site in Hill Air Force Base (HAFB), Utah, reveals a surprisingly complicated shallow substructure with a resolution of approximately 1.5 m. Variance in the waveform misfit function is reduced 69.4% by using an initial velocity model from first-arrival traveltime tomography. The waveform tomography model suggests (1) a low-velocity layer at 1 to 4 m depth, (2) a high-vertical-velocity gradient of 80 m/s/m on average, and (3) severe lateral variations — velocity contrasts as large as about 200 m/s occur in a distance as short as 1.5 m. The model is well correlated with lithologic logs and is interpreted geologically. A Q-value of 20 is estimated for the target area. The extreme lateral and vertical variations of the subsurface compromise many standard seismic processing methods.

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