Abstract

Over the past decade, acoustic full-waveform inversion (FWI) has become one of the standard methods in the industry to construct high-resolution velocity fields from the seismic data acquired. While most of the successful applications are for marine acquisition data with rich low-frequency diving or postcritical waves at large offsets, the application of acoustic FWI on land data remains a challenging topic. Land acoustic FWI application faces many severe difficulties, such as the presence of strong elastic effects, large near-surface velocity contrast, and heterogeneous, topography variations, etc. In addition, it is well-known that low-frequency transmitted seismic energy is crucial for the success of FWI to overcome sensitivity to starting velocity fields; unfortunately, those are the parts of the data that suffer the most from a low signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) in land acquisition. We have developed an acoustic FWI application on a land data set from North Kuwait, and demonstrated our solutions to mitigate some of the challenges posed by land data. More specifically, we have developed a semblance-based high-resolution Radon (HR-Radon) inversion approach to enhance the S/N of the low-frequency part of the FWI input data and to ultimately improve the convergence of the land FWI workflow. To mitigate the impact of elastic effects, we included only the diving and postcritical early arrivals in the waveform inversion. Our results show that, with the aid of HR-Radon preconditioning and a carefully designed workflow, acoustic FWI has the ability to derive a reliable high-resolution near-surface model that could not be otherwise recovered through traditional tomographic methods.

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