ABSTRACT

We evaluated a method for using 3C vertical seismic profile data to image acoustic interfaces located between the surface source and a downhole receiver array. The approach was based on simple concepts adapted from whole-earth seismology, in which observed compressional and shear wavefields are traced back to a common origin. However, unlike whole-earth and passive seismology, in which physical sources are imaged, we used the observed compressional and shear wavefields to image secondary sources (scatterers) situated between the surface source and the downhole receiver array. The algorithm consisted of the following steps: first, estimating the receiver compressional wavefield; second, using polarization to estimating the shear wavefield; third, deconvolving the shear wavefield using estimates of the source wavelet obtained from the direct compressional wave; fourth, the compressional and shear wavefields were back projected into the volume between the source and receivers; where, finally, an imaging condition was applied. When applied to rig-source VSP data acquired in an extended-reach horizontal well, this process was demonstrated to give images of formation features in the overburden, consistent with surface-seismic images obtained from the same area.

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