In near-surface velocity structure estimation, first-arrival traveltime tomography tends to produce a smooth velocity model. If the shallow structures include a weathering layer over high-velocity bedrock, first-arrival traveltime tomography may fail to recover the sharp interface. However, with the same traveltime data, refraction traveltime migration proves to be an effective tool for accurately mapping the refractor. The approach downward continues the refraction traveltime curves and produces an image (position) of the refractor for a given overburden velocity model. We first assess the validity of the refraction traveltime migration method and analyze its uncertainties with a simple model. We then develop a multilayer refraction traveltime migration method and apply the migration image to constrain traveltime tomographic inversion by imposing discontinuities at the refraction interfaces in model regularization. In each subsequent iteration, the shape of the migrated refractors and the velocity model are simultaneously updated. The synthetic tests indicate that the joint inversion method performs better than the conventional first-arrival traveltime tomography method with Tikhonov regularization and the delay-time method in reconstructing near-surface models with high-velocity contrasts. In application to field data, this method produces a more accurately resolved velocity model, which improves the quality of common midpoint stacking by making long-wavelength static corrections.

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