ABSTRACT

State-of-the-art methods to image the earth’s subsurface using active-source seismic reflection data involve reverse time migration. This and other standard seismic processing methods such as velocity analysis provide best results only when all waves in the data set are primaries (waves reflected only once). A variety of methods are therefore deployed as processing to predict and remove multiples (waves reflected several times); however, accurate removal of those predicted multiples from the recorded data using adaptive subtraction techniques proves challenging, even in cases in which they can be predicted with reasonable accuracy. We present a new, alternative strategy to construct a parallel data set consisting only of primaries, which is calculated directly from recorded data. This obviates the need for multiple prediction and removal methods. Primaries are constructed by using convolutional interferometry to combine the first-arriving events of upgoing and direct-wave downgoing Green’s functions to virtual receivers in the subsurface. The required upgoing wavefields to virtual receivers are constructed by Marchenko redatuming. Crucially, this is possible without detailed models of the earth’s subsurface reflectivity structure: Similar to the most migration techniques, the method only requires surface reflection data and estimates of direct (nonreflected) arrivals between the virtual subsurface sources and the acquisition surface. We evaluate the method on a stratified synclinal model. It is shown to be particularly robust against errors in the reference velocity model used and to improve the migrated images substantially.

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