Seismic full-waveform inversion (FWI) is potentially a powerful method for obtaining high-resolution subsurface images, but the results are often distorted by nonlinear effects and parameter trade-offs. Such distortions can be particularly severe in the case of multiparameter FWI, such as elastic FWI, in which inversion is performed simultaneously for P- and S-wave velocities and density. The problem can be alleviated by adding constraints in the form of plausible a priori information. A usually well-justified constraint includes the structural similarity of different model parameters; i.e., an anomalous body likely exhibits variations in all elastic properties, although their magnitudes may be different. To consider such types of a priori information, we have developed a structurally constrained elastic FWI, which is based on minimization of the cross products of gradients of different model parameters. Our synthetic 2D experiments show that structurally constrained FWI can significantly improve model reconstruction. It is also demonstrated that our approach still leads to improved results, even when the structural similarity between the individual parameter types is not exactly met. Inversions of field data show that in comparison to conventional FWI, structurally constrained FWI is able to match the field data equally well while requiring less structural complexity of the subsurface.

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