Abstract

We develop a concept of localized seismic grid tomography constrained by well information and apply it to building vertically transversely isotropic (VTI) velocity models in depth. The goal is to use a highly automated migration velocity analysis to build anisotropic models that combine optimal image focusing with accurate depth positioning in one step. We localize tomography to a limited volume around the well and jointly invert the surface seismic and well data. Well information is propagated into the local volume by using the method of preconditioning, whereby model updates are shaped to follow geologic layers with spatial smoothing constraints. We analyze our concept with a synthetic data example of anisotropic tomography applied to a 1D VTI model. We demonstrate four cases of introducing additionalinformation. In the first case, vertical velocity is assumed to be known, and the tomography inverts only for Thomsen's δ and ε profiles using surface seismic data alone. In the second case, tomography simultaneously inverts for all three VTI parameters, including vertical velocity, using a joint data set that consists of surface seismic data and vertical check-shot traveltimes. In the third and fourth cases, sparse depth markers and walkaway vertical seismic profiling (VSP) are used, respectively, to supplement the seismic data. For all four examples, tomography reliably recovers the anisotropic velocity field up to a vertical resolution comparable to that of the well data. Even though walkaway VSP has the additional dimension of angle or offset, it offers no further increase in this resolution limit. Anisotropic tomography with well constraints has multiple advantages over other approaches and deserves a place in the portfolio of model-building tools.

You do not currently have access to this article.