ABSTRACT

Long-wavelength velocity model building is a nonlinear process. It has traditionally been achieved without appealing to wave-equation-based approaches for combined refracted and reflected waves. We developed a cascaded wave-equation tomography method in the data domain, taking advantage of the information contained in the reflected and refracted waves. The objective function was the traveltime residual that maximized the crosscorrelation function between real and synthetic data. To alleviate the nonlinearity of the inversion problem, refracted waves were initially used to provide vertical constraints on the velocity model, and reflected waves were then included to provide lateral constraints. The use of reflected waves required scale separation. We separated the long- and short-wavelength subsurface structures into velocity and density models, respectively. The velocity model update was restricted to long wavelengths during the wave-equation tomography, whereas the density model was used to absorb all the short-wavelength impedance contrasts. To improve the computation efficiency, the density model was converted into the zero-offset traveltime domain, where it was invariant to changes of the long-wavelength velocity model. After the wave-equation tomography has derived an optimized long-wavelength velocity model, full-waveform inversion was used to invert all the data to retrieve the short-wavelength velocity structures. We developed our method in two synthetic tests and then applied it to a marine field data set. We evaluated the results of the use of refracted and reflected waves, which was critical for accurately building the long-wavelength velocity model. We showed that our wave-equation tomography strategy was robust for the real data application.

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