We have developed a wave-equation traveltime inversion method with multifrequency bands to invert for the shallow or intermediate subsurface velocity distribution. Similar to the classical wave-equation traveltime inversion, this method searches for the velocity model that minimizes the squared sum of the traveltime residuals using source wavelets with progressively higher peak frequencies. Wave-equation traveltime inversion can partially avoid the cycle-skipping problem by recovering the low-wavenumber parts of the velocity model. However, we also use the frequency information hidden in the traveltimes to obtain a more highly resolved tomogram. Therefore, we use different frequency bands when calculating the Fréchet derivatives so that tomograms with better resolution can be reconstructed. Results are validated by the zero-offset gathers from the raw data associated with moderate geometric irregularities. The improved wave-equation traveltime method is robust and merely needs a rough estimate of the starting model. Numerical tests on the synthetic and field data sets validate the above claims.

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