Abstract

To obtain a higher resolution quantitative P-wave velocity model, 2D waveform tomography was applied to seismic reflection data from the Queen Charlotte sedimentary basin off the west coast of Canada. The forward modeling and inversion were implemented in the frequency domain using the visco-acoustic wave equation. Field data preconditioning consisted of F-K filtering, 2D amplitude scaling, shot-to-shot amplitude balancing, and time windowing. The field data were inverted between 7 and 13.66 Hz, with attenuation introduced for frequencies miss data to improve the final velocity model; two different approaches to sampling the frequencies were evaluated. The limited maximum offset of the marine data (3770 m) and the relatively high starting frequency (7 Hz) were the main challenges encountered during the inversion. An inversion strategy that successively recovered shallow-to-deep structures was designed to mitigate these issues. The inclusion of later arrivals in the waveform tomography resulted in a velocity model that extends to a depth of approximately 1200 m, twice the maximum depth of ray coverage in the ray-based tomography. Overall, there is a good agreement between the velocity model and a sonic log from a well on the seismic line, as well as between modeled shot gathers and field data. Anomalous zones of low velocity in the model correspond to previously identified faults or their upward continuation into the shallow Pliocene section where they are not readily identifiable in the conventional migration.

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