paul sava


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© 2007 PC Sava

Page updated on
April 25, 2018

Imaging statistical stability


The fidelity of depth seismic imaging depends on the accuracy of the velocity models used for wavefield reconstruction. Models can be decomposed in two components corresponding to large scale and small scale variations. In practice, the large scale velocity model component can be estimated with high accuracy using repeated migration/tomography cycles, but the small scale component cannot. Therefore, wavefield reconstruction does not completely describe the recorded data and migrated images are perturbed by artifacts.

There are two possible ways to address this problem: improve wavefield reconstruction by estimating more accurate velocity models and image using conventional techniques (e.g. wavefield cross-correlation), or reconstruct wavefields with conventional methods using the known smooth velocity model, and improve the imaging condition to alleviate the artifacts caused by the imprecise reconstruction.

The unknown component of the velocity model is described as a random function with local spatial correlations. Imaging data perturbed by such random variations is characterized by statistical instability, i.e. various wavefield components image at wrong locations that depend on the actual realization of the random model. Statistical stability can be achieved by local wavefield averaging either in spatial windows defined in the vicinity of the data acquisition locations, or in local windows defined in the vicinity of image points.


The pictures show several realizations of media with random variations of equal magnitude. Waves are generated by 3 active sources in the subsurface. Receivers are located on the surface. Interferometric imaging achieves higher statistical stability compared with conventional imaging.

Velocity

Data

Image by conventional imaging (left) and interferometric imaging (right)

References

Sava, P.C., Poliannikov, O., 2008, Interferometric imaging condition for wave-equation migration, Geophysics, v. 73, pp. S47-S61. (PDF) (reprint)

Figures can be used freely for non-profit educational purposes by acknowledging their source:
© Paul Sava, Center for Wave Phenomena, Colorado School of Mines
http://www.mines.edu/~psava