Technical Paper: 3D Prestack Time Domain Full Waveform Inversion

Society: EAGE
Paper Number: U043
Presentation Date: 2009

Despite the relatively high computational demand, the early wave equation based prestack depth migration approaches were adequate and valuable, in many geologic situations.Meanwhile, acquisition methods improved, providing enhanced azimuthal sampling for marine steamer surveys and further challenges for the imaging algorithms.

All depth imaging depends on the velocity model. Everyone struggles to derive a model that represents the geology and fits the assumptions of the chosen imaging method. Many hope to build velocity models by using full-waveform inversion due to the greater dependency on recorded data rather than interpretation. However, given the non-linear and non-unique solution space, its implementation remains problematic. Full-waveform inversion also requires significant compute resources, given that multiple iterations of forward modeling and residual wavefield back propagation must be performed.

This paper describes an implementation of a time-domain 3D waveform inversion. Unlike frequencydomain algorithms that use waveform redundancy to lower compute requirements, this method functions efficiently on current computer architecture. Most importantly, high-quality images result from migrations using the model produced by numerous iterations of waveform inversion.

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