Applying waveform inversion with randomly selected sources (RS) increases the convergence rate of the optimization process within full-waveform inversion (FWI) workflows and reduces overall computational time. FWI has been shown to be a valuable addition to the existing geophysical methods for near-surface characterization. Accurate 3D modeling of the (visco) elastic wavefield allows to diminish assumptions about wave propagation and include surface- and body-wave based arrivals within the inversion workflow. This approach could result in reliable high-resolution subsurface models, but generally it comes at a high computational cost for each individual source modeling. Commonly, multiple sources are involved in the inversion process, which proportionally increases the resulting computations for a time-domain FWI, but seismic data with dense source/receiver coverage usually contain redundant information. This is especially true for seismic near-surface applications, where the number of recorded sources per wavelength of interest are normally excessive. The inversion performance was increased by randomly selecting a subset of sources at each FWI iteration. The method's effectiveness is obvious on a FWI near-surface void detection application. Synthetic 2D experiments for fixed and rolling spreads showed comparable results with fewer calculations. The best performance was achieved when a single random source was used for each inversion iteration. The effectiveness of the method was also evident on a shallow 3D field dataset collected in the Sonora Desert in western Arizona, where data were acquired over a 10-m deep void with known location, orientation, and dimensions.

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