Least-squares reverse time migration (LSRTM) overcomes the shortcomings of conventional migration algorithms by iteratively fitting the demigrated synthetic data and the input data to refine the initial depth image toward true reflectivity. It gradually enhances the effective signals and removes the migration artifacts such as swing noise during conventional migration. When imaging the subsalt area with complex structures, many practical issues have to be considered to ensure the convergence of the inversion. We tackle those practical issues such as an unknown source wavelet, inaccurate migration velocity, and slow convergence to make LSRTM applicable to subsalt imaging in geologic complex areas such as the Gulf of Mexico. Dynamic warping is used to realign the modeled and input data to compensate for minor velocity errors in the subsalt sediments. A windowed crosscorrelation-based confidence level is used to control the quality of the residual computation. The confidence level is further used as an inverse weighting to precondition the data residual so that the convergence rates in shallow and deep images are automatically balanced. It also helps suppress the strong artifacts related to the salt boundary. The efficiency of the LSRTM is improved so that interpretable images in the area of interest can be obtained in only a few iterations. After removing the artifacts near the salt body using LSRTM, the image better represents the true geology than the outcome of conventional RTM; thus, it facilitates the interpretation. Synthetic and field data examples examine and demonstrate the effectiveness of the adaptive strategies.

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