Abstract

We introduce two new traveltime picking schemes developed specifically for crosshole ground-penetrating radar (GPR) applications. The main objective is to automate, at least partially, the traveltime picking procedure and to provide first-arrival times that are closer in quality to those of manual picking approaches. The first scheme is an adaptation of a method based on cross-correlation of radar traces collated in gathers according to their associated transmitter-receiver angle. A detector is added to isolate the first cycle of the radar wave and to suppress secon-dary arrivals that might be mistaken for first arrivals. To improve the accuracy of the arrival times obtained from the crosscorrelation lags, a time-rescaling scheme is implemented to resize the radar wavelets to a common time-window length. The second method is based on the Akaike information criterion(AIC) and continuous wavelet transform (CWT). It is not tied to the restrictive criterion of waveform similarity that underlies crosscorrelation approaches, which is not guaranteed for traces sorted in common ray-angle gathers. It has the advantage of being automated fully. Performances of the new algorithms are tested with synthetic and real data. In all tests, the approach that adds first-cycle isolation to the original crosscorrelation scheme improves the results. In contrast, the time-rescaling approach brings limited benefits, except when strong dispersion is present in the data. In addition, the performance of crosscorrelation picking schemes degrades for data sets with disparate waveforms despite the high signal-to-noise ratio of the data. In general, the AIC-CWT approach is more versatile and performs well on all data sets. Only with data showing low signal-to-noise ratios is the AIC-CWT superseded by the modified crosscorrelation picker.

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