ABSTRACT

Accurate estimation of near-surface velocity is a key step for imaging deeper targets. We have developed a new workflow to invert complex early arrivals in land seismic data for near-surface velocities. This workflow is composed of two methods: source-domain full traveltime inversion (FTI) and early-arrival waveform inversion (EWI). Source-domain FTI automatically generates the background velocity that kinematically matches the reconstructed plane-wave sources from early arrivals with true plane-wave sources. This method does not require picking first arrivals for inversion, which is one of the most challenging and labor-intensive steps in ray-based first-arrival traveltime tomography, especially when the subsurface medium contains low-velocity zones that cause shingled multivalue arrivals. Moreover, unlike the conventional Born-based method, source-domain FTI can determine if the initial velocity is slower or faster than the true one according to the gradient sign. In addition, the computational cost is reduced considerably by using the one-way wave equation to extrapolate the plane-wave Green’s function. The source-domain FTI tomogram is then used as the starting model for EWI to obtain the short-wavelength component associated with the velocity model. We tested the workflow on two synthetic and one onshore filed data sets. The results demonstrate that source-domain FTI generates reasonable background velocities for EWI even though the first arrivals are shingled, and that this workflow can produce a high-resolution near-surface velocity model.

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