Least-squares migration can produce images with improved resolution and reduced migration artifacts, compared with conventional imaging. We have developed a method for elastic least-squares reverse time migration (LSRTM) based on a new perturbation imaging condition that yields scalar images of squared P- and S-velocity perturbations. These perturbation images do not suffer from polarity reversals that are common for more conventional elastic imaging methods. We use 2D synthetic and field-data examples to demonstrate the proposed LSRTM algorithm using the perturbation imaging condition. Our results show that elastic LSRTM improves the energy focusing and illumination of the elastic images and it attenuates artifacts resulting, for instance, from sparseness in the wavefield sampling and crosstalk of the P- and S-modes. Compared with RTM images, the LSRTM images provide more accurate relative amplitude information that is useful for reservoir characterization.

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