Abstract

We illustrate the use of mode-converted transmitted (e.g., PS- or SP-) waves in vertical seismic profiling (VSP) data for imaging areas above receivers where reflected waves cannot illuminate. Three depth-domain imaging techniques — move-out correction, common-depth-point (CDP) mapping, and prestack migration — are described and used for imaging the transmitted waves. Moveout correction converts an offset VSP trace into a zero-offset trace. CDP mapping maps each sample on an input trace to the location where the mode conversion occurs. For complex media, prestack migration (e.g., reverse-time migration) is used. By using both synthetic and field VSP data, we demonstrate that images derived from transmissions complement those from reflections. As an important application, we show that transmitted waves can illuminate zones above highly de-viated or horizontal wells, a region not imaged by reflection data. Because all of these benefits are obtained without extra data acquisition cost, we believe transmission imaging techniques will become widely adopted by the oil in-dustry.

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