Seismic imaging in depth is limited by the accuracy of velocity model estimation. Slope tomography uses the slowness components and traveltimes of picked reflection or diffraction events for velocity model building. The unavoidable data incompleteness requires additional information to assure stability to inversion. One natural constraint for ray-based tomography is a smooth velocity model. We propose a new, reflection-angle-based kind of smoothness constraint as regularization in slope tomography and have compared its effects to three other, more conventional constraints. The effects of these constraints were evaluated through angle-domain common-image gathers, computed with wave-equation migration using the estimated velocity model. We found that the smoothness constraints have a distinct effect on the velocity model but a weaker effect on the migrated data. In numerical tests on synthetic data, the new constraint leads to geologically more consistent models.

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