Conventional amplitude variation with offset (AVO) inversion analysis uses the Zoeppritz equations, which are based on a plane-wave approximation. However, because real seismic data are created by point sources, wave reflections are better modeled by spherical waves than by plane waves. Indeed, spherical reflection coefficients deviate from planar reflection coefficients near the critical and postcritical angles, which implies that the Zoeppritz equations are not applicable for angles close to critical reflection in AVO analysis. Elastic finite-difference simulations provide a solution to the limitations of the Zoeppritz approximation because they can handle near- and postcritical reflections. We have used a coupled acoustic-elastic local solver that approximates the wavefield with high accuracy within a locally perturbed elastic subdomain of the acoustic full domain. Using this acoustic-elastic local solver, the local wavefield generation and inversion are much faster than performing a full-domain elastic inversion. We use this technique to model wavefields and to demonstrate that the amplitude from within the local domain can be used as a constraint in the inversion to recover elastic material properties. Then, we focus on understanding how much the amplitude and phase contribute to the reconstruction accuracy of the elastic material parameters (VP, VS, and ρ). Our results suggest that the combination of amplitude and phase in the inversion helps with the convergence. Finally, we analyze elastic parameter trade-offs in AVO inversion, from which we find that to recover accurate P-wave velocities we should invert for VP and VS simultaneously with fixed density.

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