The nonlinearity of full-waveform inversion (FWI) and parameter trade-offs can prevent convergence toward the actual model, especially for elastic anisotropic media. The problems with parameter updating become particularly severe if ultra-low-frequency seismic data are unavailable, and the initial model is not sufficiently accurate. We introduce a robust way to constrain the inversion workflow using borehole information obtained from well logs. These constraints are included in the form of rock-physics relationships for different geologic facies (e.g., shale, sand, salt, and limestone). We develop a multiscale FWI algorithm for transversely isotropic media with a vertical symmetry axis (VTI media) that incorporates facies information through a regularization term in the objective function. That term is updated during the inversion by using the models obtained at the previous inversion stage. To account for lateral heterogeneity between sparse borehole locations, we use an image-guided smoothing algorithm. Numerical testing for structurally complex anisotropic media demonstrates that the facies-based constraints may ensure the convergence of the objective function towards the global minimum in the absence of ultra-low-frequency data and for simple (even 1D) initial models. We test the algorithm on clean data and on surface records contaminated by Gaussian noise. The algorithm also produces a high-resolution facies model, which should be instrumental in reservoir characterization.

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