Marchenko methods use seismic data acquired at or near the surface of the earth to estimate seismic signals as if the receiver (now a virtual receiver) was at an arbitrary point inside the subsurface of the earth. This process is called redatuming, and it is central to subsurface imaging. Marchenko methods estimate the multiply scattered components of these redatumed signals, which is not the case for most other redatuming techniques that are based on single-scattering assumptions. As a result, images created using Marchenko redatumed signals contain a reduction in the artifacts that usually contaminate migrated seismic images due to improper handling of internal multiples. We exploit recent theoretical advances that enable virtual sources and virtual receivers to be placed at arbitrary points inside the subsurface as a means to incorporate vertical seismic profile (VSP) data into Marchenko methods. The advantage of including this type of data is that the additional acquisition boundary increases subsurface illumination, which in turn enables vertical interfaces and steeply dipping structures to be imaged. We develop this methodology using two synthetic data sets. The first is created using a simple variable density but constant velocity subsurface model. In this example, we find that our newly devised VSP Marchenko imaging methodology enables imaging of horizontal and vertical structures and that optimal results are achieved by combining these images with those created using standard Marchenko imaging. A second example demonstrates that the method can be applied to more realistic subsurface structures, in this case a modified version of the Marmousi 2 model. We determine the applicability of the methods to image fault structures with the final imaging result containing reduced contamination due to internal multiples and an improvement in the imaging of fault structures when compared to other standard imaging methods alone.

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