Amplitudes and shapes of seismic patterns derived from tomographic images often are strongly biased with respect to real structures in the earth. In particular, tomography usually provides continuous velocity distributions, whereas major velocity changes in the earth often occur on first-order interfaces. We propose an approach that constructs a realistic structure of the earth that combines forward modeling and tomographic inversion (FM&TI). Using available a priori information, we first construct a synthetic model with realistic patterns. Then we compute synthetic times and invert them using the same tomographic code and the same parameters as in the case of observed data processing. We compare the reconstruction result with the tomographicimage of observed data inversion. If a discrepancy is observed, we correct the synthetic model and repeat the FM&TI process. After several trials, we obtain similar results of synthetic and observed data inversion. In this case, the derived synthetic model adequately represents the real structure of the earth. In a working scheme of this approach, we three authors used two different synthetic models with a realistic setup. One of us created models, but the other two performed the reconstruction with no knowledge of the models. We discovered that the synthetic models derived by FM&TI were closer to the true model than the tomographic inversion result. Our reconstruction results from modeling marine data acquired in the Musicians Seamount Province in the Pacific Ocean indicate the capacity and limitations of FM&TI.

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