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Tomographic determination of three-dimensional seismic velocity structure using well logs, vertical seismic profiles, and surface seismic data

Chiu Stephen, K.L.; Stewart Robert, R.

Geophysics 52(8): 1085-1098

1987

A tomographic technique (traveltime inversion) has been developed to obtain a two- or three-dimensional velocity structure of the subsurface from well logs, vertical seismic profiles (VSP), and surface seismic measurements. The earth was modeled by continuous curved interfaces (polynomial or sinusoidal series), separating regions of constant velocity or transversely isotropic velocity. Ray tracing for each seismic source-receiver pair was performed by solving a system of nonlinear equations which satisfy the generalized Snell's law. Surface-to-borehole and surface-to-surface rays were included. A damped least-squares formulation provided the updating of the earth model by minimizing the difference between the traveltimes picked from the real data and calculated traveltimes. Synthetic results indicated the following conclusions. For noise-free cases, the inversion converged closely from the initial guess to the true model for either surface or VSP data. Adding random noise to the observations and performing the inversion indicated that (1) using surface data alone allows reconstruction of the broad velocity structure but with some inaccuracy; (2) using VSP data alone gives a very accurate but laterally limited velocity structure; and (3) the integration of both data sets produces a more laterally extensive, accurate image of the subsurface. Finally, a field example illustrates the viability of the method to construct a velocity structure from real data.

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