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Pre-stack full waveform inversion of ultra-high-frequency marine seismic reflection data

Pre-stack full waveform inversion of ultra-high-frequency marine seismic reflection data
Pre-stack full waveform inversion of ultra-high-frequency marine seismic reflection data
The full waveform inversion (FWI) of seismic reflection data aims to reconstruct a detailed physical properties model of the subsurface, fitting both the amplitude and the traveltime of the reflections generated at physical discontinuities in the propagation medium. Unlike reservoir-scale seismic exploration, where seismic inversion is a widely adopted remote characterization tool, ultrahigh-frequency (UHF, 0.2–4.0 kHz) multichannel marine reflection seismology is still most often limited to a qualitative interpretation of the reflections’ architecture. Here we propose an elastic FWI methodology, custom-tailored for pre-stack UHF marine data in vertically heterogeneous media to obtain a decimetric-scale distribution of P-impedance, density and Poisson’s ratio within the shallow subseabed sediments. We address the deterministic multiparameter inversion in a sequential fashion. The complex trace instantaneous phase is first inverted for the P-wave velocity to make up for the lack of low frequency in the data and reduce the nonlinearity of the problem. This is followed by a short-offset P-impedance optimization and a further step of full offset range Poisson’s ratio inversion. Provided that the seismogram contains wide reflection angles (>40°), we show that it is possible to invert for density and decompose a posteriori the relative contribution of P-wave velocity and density to the P-impedance. A broad range of synthetic tests is used to prove the potential of the methodology and highlights sensitivity issues specific to UHF seismic. An example application to real data is also presented. In the real case, trace normalization is applied to minimize the systematic error deriving from an inaccurate source wavelet estimation. The inverted model for the top 15 m of the subseabed agrees with the local lithological information and core-log data. Thus, we can obtain a detailed remote characterization of the shallow sediments using a multichannel sub-bottom profiler within a reasonable computing cost and with minimal pre-processing. This has the potential to reduce the need of extensive geotechnical coring campaigns.
full waveform, marine geophysics, high resolution reflection seismology, Seismic inversion
0956-540X
1593-1611
Provenzano, Giuseppe
076fb0cd-74db-4b62-bc0b-afffbe442cc4
Vardy, Mark
8dd019dc-e57d-4b49-8f23-0fa6d246e69d
Henstock, Timothy
27c450a4-3e6b-41f8-97f9-4e0e181400bb
Provenzano, Giuseppe
076fb0cd-74db-4b62-bc0b-afffbe442cc4
Vardy, Mark
8dd019dc-e57d-4b49-8f23-0fa6d246e69d
Henstock, Timothy
27c450a4-3e6b-41f8-97f9-4e0e181400bb

Provenzano, Giuseppe, Vardy, Mark and Henstock, Timothy (2017) Pre-stack full waveform inversion of ultra-high-frequency marine seismic reflection data. Geophysical Journal International, 209 (3), 1593-1611. (doi:10.1093/gji/ggx114).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The full waveform inversion (FWI) of seismic reflection data aims to reconstruct a detailed physical properties model of the subsurface, fitting both the amplitude and the traveltime of the reflections generated at physical discontinuities in the propagation medium. Unlike reservoir-scale seismic exploration, where seismic inversion is a widely adopted remote characterization tool, ultrahigh-frequency (UHF, 0.2–4.0 kHz) multichannel marine reflection seismology is still most often limited to a qualitative interpretation of the reflections’ architecture. Here we propose an elastic FWI methodology, custom-tailored for pre-stack UHF marine data in vertically heterogeneous media to obtain a decimetric-scale distribution of P-impedance, density and Poisson’s ratio within the shallow subseabed sediments. We address the deterministic multiparameter inversion in a sequential fashion. The complex trace instantaneous phase is first inverted for the P-wave velocity to make up for the lack of low frequency in the data and reduce the nonlinearity of the problem. This is followed by a short-offset P-impedance optimization and a further step of full offset range Poisson’s ratio inversion. Provided that the seismogram contains wide reflection angles (>40°), we show that it is possible to invert for density and decompose a posteriori the relative contribution of P-wave velocity and density to the P-impedance. A broad range of synthetic tests is used to prove the potential of the methodology and highlights sensitivity issues specific to UHF seismic. An example application to real data is also presented. In the real case, trace normalization is applied to minimize the systematic error deriving from an inaccurate source wavelet estimation. The inverted model for the top 15 m of the subseabed agrees with the local lithological information and core-log data. Thus, we can obtain a detailed remote characterization of the shallow sediments using a multichannel sub-bottom profiler within a reasonable computing cost and with minimal pre-processing. This has the potential to reduce the need of extensive geotechnical coring campaigns.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 16 March 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 17 March 2017
Published date: 17 March 2017
Keywords: full waveform, marine geophysics, high resolution reflection seismology, Seismic inversion
Organisations: Geology & Geophysics, Ocean and Earth Science, Marine Geoscience, National Oceanography Centre

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 406760
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/406760
ISSN: 0956-540X
PURE UUID: 8eaa7dc4-9a4f-4aa5-88e5-23b94dd71050
ORCID for Timothy Henstock: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2132-2514

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Date deposited: 22 Mar 2017 02:07
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 04:42

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Contributors

Author: Giuseppe Provenzano
Author: Mark Vardy

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