Iterative supervirtual refraction interferometry

In refraction tomography, the low signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) can be a major obstacle in picking the first-break arrivals at the far-offset receivers. To increase the S/N, we evaluated iterative supervirtual refraction interferometry (ISVI), which is an extension of the supervirtual refraction interferometry method. In this method, supervirtual traces are computed and then iteratively reused to generate supervirtual traces with a higher S/N. Our empirical results with both synthetic and field data revealed that ISVI can significantly boost up the S/N of far-offset traces. The drawback is that using refraction events from more than one refractor can introduce unacceptable artifacts into the final traveltime versus offset curve. This problem can be avoided by careful windowing of refraction events.

Al-Hagan, O., Hanafy, S. M., & Schuster, G. T. (2014). Iterative supervirtual refraction interferometry. GEOPHYSICS, 79(3), Q21–Q30. doi:10.1190/geo2013-0210.1

We thank the 2011-2012 sponsors of the CSIM Consortium ( for their support. We also thank KSL, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, for the use of the Shaheen supercomputer.

Society of Exploration Geophysicists



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