Abstract

Most amplitude-variation-with-offset (AVO) studies use two-parameter inversion methods that are approximations of a more general three-parameter method based on the Aki-Richards approximation. Two-parameter methods are popular because the three-parameter inversion is often plagued by numerical instability. Reducing the dimensionality of the parameter space stabilizes the inversion. A variety of constraints can accomplish this, and these lead to the multiplicity of current two-parameter methods. It would be useful to understand relationships between various two-parameter methods. To this end, we derive formal expressions for inversion errors of each method. Using these expressions, conversion formulas are obtained that allow the flexibility to convert results of any two-parameter method to those of any other two-parameter method. The only requirement for the equivalence of methods is that the maximum angle of incidence be at least a few degrees less than the critical angle. In addition, error expressions result in a new formulation for a two-parameter AVO tool that combines strengths of two commonly used methods. The expressions also suggest a simple way to incorporate information from well-log calibration into legacy AVO inversions. These results should be helpful in resource exploration.

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