In this paper, we investigate several source-independent methods of nonlinear full-waveform inversion of multicomponent elastic-wave data. This includes iterative estimation of source signature (IES), standard trace normalization (STN), and average trace normalization (ATN) inversion methods. All are based on the finite-element method in the frequency domain. One synthetic elastic crosshole model is used to compare the recovered images with all these methods as well as the known source signature (KSS) inversion method. The numerical experiments show that the IES method is superior to both STN and ATN methods in two-component, elastic-wave inversion in the frequency domain when the source signature is unknown. The STN and ATN methods have limitations associated with near-zero amplitudes (or polarity reversals) in traces from one of the components, which destroy the energy balance in the normalized traces and cause a loss of frequency information. But the ATN method is somewhat superior to the STN method in suppressing random noise and improving stability, as the developed formulas and the numerical experiments show. We suggest the IES method as a practical procedure for multicomponent seismic inversion.

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