Imagine placing a receiver at any location in the earth and recording the response at that location to sources on the surface. In such a world, we could place receivers around our reservoir to better image the reservoir and understand its properties. Realistically, this is not a feasible approach for understanding the subsurface. We have developed an alternative and realizable approach to obtain the response of a buried virtual receiver for sources at the surface. Our method is capable of retrieving the Green’s function for a virtual point in the subsurface to the acquisition surface. In our case, a physical receiver is not required at the subsurface point; instead, we require the reflection measurements for sources and receivers at the surface of the earth and a macromodel of the velocity (no small-scale details of the model are necessary). We can interpret the retrieved Green’s function as the response to sources at the surface for a virtual receiver in the subsurface. We obtain this Green’s function by solving the Marchenko equation, an integral equation pertinent to inverse scattering problems. Our derivation of the Marchenko equation for the Green’s function retrieval takes into account the free-surface reflections present in the reflection response (previous work considered a response without free-surface multiples). We decompose the Marchenko equation into up- and downgoing fields and solve for these fields iteratively. The retrieved Green’s function not only includes primaries and internal multiples as do previous methods, but it also includes free-surface multiples. We use these up- and downgoing fields to obtain a 2D image of our area of interest, in this case, below a synclinal structure.

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