Time-shift estimation is a key step in seismic time-lapse processing as well as in many other signal-processing applications. We consider the time-shift problem in the setting of multiple repeat surveys that must be aligned consistently. We introduce an optimized least-squares method based on the Taylor expansion for estimating two-vintage time shifts and compare it to crosscorrelation. The superiority of the proposed algorithm is demonstrated with synthetic data and residual time-lapse matching on a U. K. continental shelf data set. We then discuss the shortcomings of cascaded time alignment in multiple repeat monitor surveys and propose an approach to estimate simultaneous multivintage time shifts that uses a constrained least-squares technique combined with elements of network theory. The resulting time shifts are consistent across all vintages in a least-squares sense, improving overall alignment when compared to the classical flow of alignment in a cascaded manner. The method surpasses the cascaded approach, as noted with sample synthetic and three-vintage U. K. continental shelf time-lapse data sets.

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