We have developed the theory and synthetic tests of elastic least-squares reverse time migration (ELSRTM). In this method, a least-squares reverse time migration algorithm is used to image multicomponent seismic data based on the first-order elastic velocity-stress wave equation, in which the linearized elastic modeling equations are used for forward modeling and its adjoint equations are derived based on the adjoint-state method for back propagating the data residuals. Also, we have developed another ELSRTM scheme based on the wavefield separation technique, in which the P-wave image is obtained using P-wave forward and adjoint wavefields and the S-wave image is obtained using P-wave forward and S-wave adjoint wavefields. In this way, the crosstalk artifacts can be minimized to a significant extent. In general, seismic data inevitably contain noise. We apply the hybrid l1/l2 misfit function to the ELSRTM algorithm to improve the robustness of our ELSRTM to noise. Numerical tests on synthetic data reveal that our ELSRTM, when compared with elastic reverse time migration, can produce images with higher spatial resolution, more-balanced amplitudes, and fewer artifacts. Moreover, the hybrid l1/l2 misfit function makes the ELSRTM more robust than the l2 misfit function in the presence of noise.

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