ABSTRACT

Because modeling for full-waveform inversion (FWI) cannot produce reflections unless the velocity model has the scattering potential (high wavenumbers), using a migration/demigration process to generate modeling data, which is a key step in what is now known as reflection FWI (RFWI), is a credible alternative to tackle the reflection nonlinearity associated with FWI. However, because RFWI depends on a conventional data residual or zero-lag correlation objective function, high nonlinearity can still exist when the true amplitude migration is not used, as well as at far offsets due to cycle skipping. To avoid the cycle skipping and the need for a true amplitude migration, we have developed a correlation-based reflection full-waveform inversion method to update the low-wavenumber components of the velocity model. The success of this method relies on a sensitivity kernel decomposition and a correlation-based objective function. The sensitivity kernel decomposition makes it possible to separate out the contributions of different subkernels and to smear the reflected wave residuals along the “rabbit-ear” wavepath to obtain middle and deep background model estimates. The correlation-based objective function measures differences in kinematic information and behaves in a more linear way than the traditional waveform residual misfit. Moreover, our approach is less sensitive to the frequency content and amplitude information of the seismic data, enabling reliable background velocity estimates to be obtained without the need for low frequencies and full-physics modeling. Because the kinematic features of reflected waves are described correctly, the inversion result of the proposed method can be used as a migration model or an initial model for conventional FWI to achieve a correct high-wavenumber model update.

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