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AuthorAlkhalifah, Tariq Ali (52)Schuster, Gerard T. (19)Stovas, Alexey (7)Choi, Yun Seok (5)Hao, Qi (5)View MoreDepartmentPhysical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Division (80)Earth Science and Engineering Program (75)Extreme Computing Research Center (4)Center for Subsurface Imaging and Fluid Modeling (3)Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering (CEMSE) Division (3)View MoreJournal

GEOPHYSICS (81)

KAUST Acknowledged Support UnitOffice of Sponsored Research (1)OSR (1)Research Computing (1)Seismic Modeling and Inversion group (SMI) (1)Seismic Wave Analysis Group (SWAG) (1)View MoreKAUST Grant NumberCRG3 (1)UAPN#2605-CRG4 (1)PublisherSociety of Exploration Geophysicists (81)Subjectanisotropy (12)inversion (7)traveltime (7)imaging (6)Full-waveform inversion (5)View MoreTypeArticle (81)Year (Issue Date)2019 (14)2018 (18)2017 (13)2016 (16)2015 (8)View MoreItem Availability
Open Access (81)

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Elastic reflection based waveform inversion with a nonlinear approach

Guo, Qiang; Alkhalifah, Tariq Ali (GEOPHYSICS, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, 2017-08-16) [Article]

Full waveform inversion (FWI) is a highly nonlinear problem due to the complex reflectivity of the Earth, and this nonlinearity only increases under the more expensive elastic assumption. In elastic media, we need a good initial P-wave velocity and even a better initial S-wave velocity models with accurate representation of the low model wavenumbers for FWI to converge. However, inverting for the low wavenumber components of P- and S-wave velocities using reflection waveform inversion (RWI) with an objective to fit the reflection shape, rather than produce reflections, may mitigate the limitations of FWI. Because FWI, performing as a migration operator, is in preference of the high wavenumber updates along reflectors. We propose a nonlinear elastic RWI that inverts for both the low wavenumber and perturbation components of the P- and S-wave velocities. To generate the full elastic reflection wavefields, we derive an equivalent stress source made up by the inverted model perturbations and incident wavefields. We update both the perturbation and propagation parts of the velocity models in a nested fashion. Applications on synthetic isotropic models and field data show that our method can efficiently update the low and high wavenumber parts of the models.

A parameterization study for elastic VTI Full Waveform Inversion of hydrophone components: synthetic and North Sea field data examples

Guitton, Antoine; Alkhalifah, Tariq Ali (GEOPHYSICS, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, 2017-08-15) [Article]

Choosing the right parameterization to describe a transversely isotropic medium with a vertical symmetry axis (VTI) allows us to match the scattering potential of these parameters to the available data in a way that avoids potential tradeoff and focus on the parameters to which the data are sensitive. For 2-D elastic full waveform inversion in VTI media of pressure components and for data with a reasonable range of offsets (as with those found in conventional streamer data acquisition systems), assuming that we have a kinematically accurate NMO velocity (vnmo) and anellipticity parameter η (or horizontal velocity, vh) obtained from tomographic methods, a parameterization in terms of horizontal velocity vh, η and ε is preferred to the more conventional parameterization in terms of vh, δ and ε. In the vh, η, ε parameterization and for reasonable scattering angles (<60o), ε acts as a “garbage collector” and absorbs most of the amplitude discrepancies; between modeled and observed data, more so when density ρ and shear-wave velocity vs are not inverted for (a standard practice with streamer data). On the contrary, in the vv, δ, ε parameterization, ε is mostly sensitive to large scattering angles, leaving vv exposed to strong leakages from ρ mainly. There assertions will be demonstrated on the synthetic Marmousi II as well as a North Sea OBC dataset, where inverting for the horizontal velocity rather than the vertical velocity yields more accurate models and migrated images.

Approximate reflection coefficients for a thin VTI layer

Hao, Qi; Stovas, Alexey (GEOPHYSICS, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, 2017-09-18) [Article]

We present an approximate method to derive simple expressions for the reflection coefficients of P- and SV-waves for a thin transversely isotropic layer with a vertical symmetry axis (VTI) embedded in a homogeneous VTI background. The layer thickness is assumed to be much smaller than the wavelengths of P- and SV-waves inside. The exact reflection and transmission coefficients are derived by the propagator matrix method. In the case of normal incidence, the exact reflection and transmission coefficients are expressed in terms of the impedances of vertically propagating P- and S-waves. For subcritical incidence, the approximate reflection coefficients are expressed in terms of the contrast in the VTI parameters between the layer and the background. Numerical examples are designed to analyze the reflection coefficients at normal and oblique incidence, and investigate the influence of transverse isotropy on the reflection coefficients. Despite giving numerical errors, the approximate formulae are sufficiently simple to qualitatively analyze the variation of the reflection coefficients with the angle of incidence.

A new traveltime approximation for TI media

Stovas, Alexey; Alkhalifah, Tariq Ali (GEOPHYSICS, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, 2012-07) [Article]

In a transversely isotropic (TI) medium, the trade-off between inhomogeneity and anisotropy can dramatically reduce our capability to estimate anisotropy parameters. By expanding the TI eikonal equation in power series in terms of the aneliptic parameter η, we derive an efficient tool to estimate (scan) for η in a generally inhomogeneous, elliptically anisotropic background medium. For a homogeneous-tilted transversely isotropic medium, we obtain an analytic nonhyperbolic moveout equation that is accurate for large offsets. In the common case where we do not have well information and it is necessary to resolve the vertical velocity, the background medium can be assumed isotropic, and the traveltime equations becomes simpler. In all cases, the accuracy of this new TI traveltime equation exceeds previously published formulations and demonstrates how η is better resolved at small offsets when the tilt is large.

Fast sweeping algorithm for accurate solution of the TTI eikonal equation using factorization

bin Waheed, Umair; Alkhalifah, Tariq Ali (GEOPHYSICS, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, 2017-06-10) [Article]

Traveltime computation is essential for many seismic data processing applications and velocity analysis tools. High-resolution seismic imaging requires eikonal solvers to account for anisotropy whenever it significantly affects the seismic wave kinematics. Moreover, computation of auxiliary quantities, such as amplitude and take-off angle, rely on highly accurate traveltime solutions. However, the finite-difference based eikonal solution for a point-source initial condition has an upwind source-singularity at the source position, since the wavefront curvature is large near the source point. Therefore, all finite-difference solvers, even the high-order ones, show inaccuracies since the errors due to source-singularity spread from the source point to the whole computational domain. We address the source-singularity problem for tilted transversely isotropic (TTI) eikonal solvers using factorization. We solve a sequence of factored tilted elliptically anisotropic (TEA) eikonal equations iteratively, each time by updating the right hand side function. At each iteration, we factor the unknown TEA traveltime into two factors. One of the factors is specified analytically, such that the other factor is smooth in the source neighborhood. Therefore, through the iterative procedure we obtain accurate solution to the TTI eikonal equation. Numerical tests show significant improvement in accuracy due to factorization. The idea can be easily extended to compute accurate traveltimes for models with lower anisotropic symmetries, such as orthorhombic, monoclinic or even triclinic media.

Wave-equation Migration Velocity Analysis Using Plane-wave Common Image Gathers

Guo, Bowen; Schuster, Gerard T. (GEOPHYSICS, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, 2017-06-01) [Article]

Wave-equation migration velocity analysis (WEMVA) based on subsurface-offset, angle domain or time-lag common image gathers (CIGs) requires significant computational and memory resources because it computes higher dimensional migration images in the extended image domain. To mitigate this problem, a WEMVA method using plane-wave CIGs is presented. Plane-wave CIGs reduce the computational cost and memory storage because they are directly calculated from prestack plane-wave migration, and the number of plane waves is often much smaller than the number of shots. In the case of an inaccurate migration velocity, the moveout of plane-wave CIGs is automatically picked by a semblance analysis method, which is then linked to the migration velocity update by a connective function. Numerical tests on two synthetic datasets and a field dataset validate the efficiency and effectiveness of this method.

Q-Least Squares Reverse Time Migration with Viscoacoustic Deblurring Filters

Chen, Yuqing; Dutta, Gaurav; Dai, Wei; Schuster, Gerard T. (GEOPHYSICS, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, 2017-08-02) [Article]

Viscoacoustic least-squares reverse time migration (Q-LSRTM) linearly inverts for the subsurface reflectivity model from lossy data. Compared to the conventional migration methods, it can compensate for the amplitude loss in the migrated images because of the strong subsurface attenuation and can produce reflectors that are accurately positioned in depth. However, the adjoint Q propagators used for backward propagating the residual data are also attenuative. Thus, the inverted images from Q-LSRTM are often observed to have lower resolution when compared to the benchmark acoustic LSRTM images from acoustic data. To increase the resolution and accelerate the convergence of Q-LSRTM, we propose using viscoacoustic deblurring filters as a preconditioner for Q-LSRTM. These filters can be estimated by matching a simulated migration image to its reference reflectivity model. Numerical tests on synthetic and field data demonstrate that Q-LSRTM combined with viscoacoustic deblurring filters can produce images with higher resolution and more balanced amplitudes than images from acoustic RTM, acoustic LSRTM and Q-LSRTM when there is strong attenuation in the background medium. The proposed preconditioning method is also shown to improve the convergence rate of Q-LSRTM by more than 30 percent in some cases and significantly compensate for the lossy artifacts in RTM images.

The offset-midpoint traveltime pyramid in 3D transversely isotropic media with a horizontal symmetry axis

Hao, Qi; Stovas, Alexey; Alkhalifah, Tariq Ali (GEOPHYSICS, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, 2014-12-30) [Article]

Analytic representation of the offset-midpoint traveltime equation for anisotropy is very important for prestack Kirchhoff migration and velocity inversion in anisotropic media. For transversely isotropic media with a vertical symmetry axis, the offset-midpoint traveltime resembles the shape of a Cheops’ pyramid. This is also valid for homogeneous 3D transversely isotropic media with a horizontal symmetry axis (HTI). We extended the offset-midpoint traveltime pyramid to the case of homogeneous 3D HTI. Under the assumption of weak anellipticity of HTI media, we derived an analytic representation of the P-wave traveltime equation and used Shanks transformation to improve the accuracy of horizontal and vertical slownesses. The traveltime pyramid was derived in the depth and time domains. Numerical examples confirmed the accuracy of the proposed approximation for the traveltime function in 3D HTI media.

Attenuation compensation for least-squares reverse time migration using the viscoacoustic-wave equation

Dutta, Gaurav; Schuster, Gerard T. (GEOPHYSICS, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, 2014-10-01) [Article]

Strong subsurface attenuation leads to distortion of amplitudes and phases of seismic waves propagating inside the earth. Conventional acoustic reverse time migration (RTM) and least-squares reverse time migration (LSRTM) do not account for this distortion, which can lead to defocusing of migration images in highly attenuative geologic environments. To correct for this distortion, we used a linearized inversion method, denoted as Qp-LSRTM. During the leastsquares iterations, we used a linearized viscoacoustic modeling operator for forward modeling. The adjoint equations were derived using the adjoint-state method for back propagating the residual wavefields. The merit of this approach compared with conventional RTM and LSRTM was that Qp-LSRTM compensated for the amplitude loss due to attenuation and could produce images with better balanced amplitudes and more resolution below highly attenuative layers. Numerical tests on synthetic and field data illustrated the advantages of Qp-LSRTM over RTM and LSRTM when the recorded data had strong attenuation effects. Similar to standard LSRTM, the sensitivity tests for background velocity and Qp errors revealed that the liability of this method is the requirement for smooth and accurate migration velocity and attenuation models.

An iterative, fast-sweeping-based eikonal solver for 3D tilted anisotropic media

Waheed, Umair bin; Yarman, Can Evren; Flagg, Garret (GEOPHYSICS, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, 2015-03-30) [Article]

Computation of first-arrival traveltimes for quasi-P waves in the presence of anisotropy is important for high-end near-surface modeling, microseismic-source localization, and fractured-reservoir characterization - and it requires solving an anisotropic eikonal equation. Anisotropy deviating from elliptical anisotropy introduces higher order nonlinearity into the eikonal equation, which makes solving the eikonal equation a challenge. We addressed this challenge by iteratively solving a sequence of simpler tilted elliptically anisotropic eikonal equations. At each iteration, the source function was updated to capture the effects of the higher order nonlinear terms. We used Aitken's extrapolation to speed up convergence rate of the iterative algorithm. The result is an algorithm for computing first-arrival traveltimes in tilted anisotropic media. We evaluated the applicability and usefulness of our method on tilted transversely isotropic media and tilted orthorhombic media. Our numerical tests determined that the proposed method matches the first arrivals obtained by wavefield extrapolation, even for strongly anisotropic and highly complex subsurface structures. Thus, for the cases where two-point ray tracing fails, our method can be a potential substitute for computing traveltimes. The approach presented here can be easily extended to compute first-arrival traveltimes for anisotropic media with lower symmetries, such as monoclinic or even the triclinic media.

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