ABSTRACT

Time reversal is a powerful tool used to image directly the location and mechanism of passive seismic sources. This technique assumes seismic velocities in the medium and propagates time-reversed observations of ground motion at each receiver location. Assuming an accurate velocity model and adequate array aperture, the waves will focus at the source location. Because we do not know the location and the origin time a priori, we need to scan the entire 4D image (3D in space and 1D in time) to localize the source, which makes time-reversal imaging computationally demanding. We have developed a new approach of time-reversal imaging that reduces the computational cost and the scanning dimensions from 4D to 3D (no time) and increases the spatial resolution of the source image. We first individually extrapolate wavefields at each receiver, and then we crosscorrelate these wavefields (the product in the frequency domain: geometric mean). This crosscorrelation creates another imaging condition, and focusing of the seismic wavefields occurs at the zero time lag of the correlation provided the velocity model is sufficiently accurate. Due to the analogy to the active-shot reverse time migration (RTM), we refer to this technique as the geometric-mean RTM or GmRTM. In addition to reducing the dimension from 4D to 3D compared with conventional time-reversal imaging, the crosscorrelation effectively suppresses the side lobes and yields a spatially high-resolution image of seismic sources. The GmRTM is robust for random and coherent noise because crosscorrelation enhances signal and suppresses noise. An added benefit is that, in contrast to conventional time-reversal imaging, GmRTM has the potential to be used to retrieve velocity information by analyzing time and/or space lags of crosscorrelation, which is similar to what is done in active-source imaging.

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