Wave-equation-based multiple attenuation seismic methods may be divided into the two distinct phases of multiple modeling and multiple subtraction. These two are interrelated and must be optimized in order to produce an optimal final result. The multiple prediction through inversion (MPI) scheme updates the multiple model iteratively, as we usually do in a linearized inverse problem. The scheme models the multiple wavefield without an explicit knowledge of surface and subsurface structures or of the source signature; both are generally unknown in seismic surveys. However, compared to a conventional surface-related multiple attenuation method, the accuracy of the multiple model is improved both kinematically and dynamically. It is because the MPI scheme implicitly takes account of the spatial variation of the surface reflectivity, the source signature, the detector patterns and receiver ghosts, and other effects included in the so-called surface operator. When the MPI scheme is used in the first phase it also significantly reduces the nonlinearity of the problem in the second phase that involves attenuating multiples without removing or altering primaries. The effectiveness of the MPI scheme is demonstrated by examples involving real marine seismic data.

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