ABSTRACT

Conventional methods of prestack depth imaging aim at producing a structural image that delineates the interfaces of the geologic variations or the reflectivity of the earth. However, it is the underlying impedance and velocity changes that generate this reflectivity that are of more interest for characterizing the reservoir. Indeed, the need to generate a better product for geologic interpretation leads to the subsequent application of traditional seismic-inversion techniques to the reflectivity sections that come from typical depth-imaging processes. The drawback here is that these seismic-inversion techniques use additional information, e.g., from well logs or velocity models, to fill the low frequencies missing in traditional seismic data due to the free-surface ghost in marine acquisition. We found that with the help of broadband acquisition and processing techniques, the bandwidth gap between the depth-imaging world and seismic inversion world is reducing. We outlined a theory that shows how angle-domain common-image gathers produced by an amplitude-preserving reverse time migration can estimate impedance and velocity perturbations. The near-angle stacked image provides the impedance perturbation estimate whereas the far-angle image can be used to estimate the velocity perturbation. In the context of marine acquisition and exploration, our method can, together with a ghost compensation technique, be a useful tool for seismic inversion, and it is also adaptable to a full-waveform inversion framework. We developed synthetic and real data examples to test that the method is reliable and provides additional information for interpreting geologic structures and rock properties.

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