Classical prestack impedance inversion methods are based on performing a common-depth point (CDP) by CDP inversion using Tikhonov-type regularization. We refer to it as lateral unconstrained inversion (1D-LUI). Prestack seismic data usually have a low signal-to-noise ratio, and the 1D-LUI approach is sensitive to noise. The inversion results can be noisy and lead to an unfocused transition between vertical formation boundaries. The lateral constrained inversion (1D-LCI) can suppress the noise and provide sharp boundaries between inverted 1D models in regions where the layer dips are less than 20°. However, in complex geology, the disadvantage of using the 1D-LC approach is the lateral smearing of the steeply dipping layers. We have developed a structurally constrained inversion (1D-SCI) approach to mitigate the smearing associated with 1D-LCI. SCI involves simultaneous inversion of all seismic CDPs using a regularization operator that forces the solution to honor the local structure. The results of the 1D-SCI were superior compared with the 1D-LUI and 1D-LCI approaches. The steeply dipping layers are clearly visible on the SCI inverted results.

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