Exploration seismic data are heavily manipulated before human interpreters are able to extract meaningful information regarding subsurface structures. This manipulation adds modeling and human biases and is limited by methodological shortcomings. Alternatively, using seismic data directly is becoming possible thanks to deep learning (DL) techniques. A DL-based workflow is introduced that uses analog velocity models and realistic raw seismic waveforms as input and produces subsurface velocity models as output. When insufficient data are used for training, DL algorithms tend to overfit or fail. Gathering large amounts of labeled and standardized seismic data sets is not straightforward. This shortage of quality data is addressed by building a generative adversarial network (GAN) to augment the original training data set, which is then used by DL-driven seismic tomography as input. The DL tomographic operator predicts velocity models with high statistical and structural accuracy after being trained with GAN-generated velocity models. Beyond the field of exploration geophysics, the use of machine learning in earth science is challenged by the lack of labeled data or properly interpreted ground truth, since we seldom know what truly exists beneath the earth's surface. The unsupervised approach (using GANs to generate labeled data)illustrates a way to mitigate this problem and opens geology, geophysics, and planetary sciences to more DL applications.

You do not currently have access to this article.