Anisotropic migration velocity analysis using reverse-time migration

Seismic anisotropy, if not accounted for, can cause significant mispositioning of the reflectors in depth-migrated images. Accounting for anisotropy in depth migration requires velocity analysis tools that can estimate the anisotropic background velocity field. We extended wave equation migration velocity analysis to deal with 2D tilted transverse isotropic media. The velocities were obtained automatically by nonlinear optimization of the focusing and stack power of common-image point gathers constructed using an extended imaging condition. We used the elastic two-way wave equation to reconstruct the wavefields needed for the image and gradient computations. This led to an anisotropic migration velocity analysis algorithm based on reverse-time migration. We illustrated the method with synthetic and field data examples based on marine surface seismic acquisition. The results showed that the method significantly improves the quality of the depth-migrated image. However, as is common in the case of velocity analysis using surface seismic data, the estimation of anisotropic parameters seems to be strongly nonunique.

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