The estimation of velocity and depth is an important stage in seismic data processing and interpretation. We present a method for velocity‐depth model estimation from unstacked data. This method is formulated as an iterative algorithm producing a model which maximizes some measure of coherency computed along traveltimes generated by tracing rays through the model. In the model the interfaces are represented as cubic splines and it is assumed that the velocity in each layer is constant. The inversion includes the determination of the velocities in all the layers and the location of the spline knots. The process input consists of unstacked seismic data and an initial velocity‐depth model. This model is often based on nearby well information and an interpretation of the stacked section. Inversion is performed iteratively layer after layer; during each iteration synthetic travel‐time curves are calculated for the interface under consideration. A functional characterizing the main correlation properties of the wavefield is then formed along the synthetic arrival times. It is assumed that the functional reaches a maximum value when the synthetic arrival time curves match the arrival times of the events on the field gathers. The maximum value of the functional is obtained by an effective algorithm of non‐linear programming. The present inversion algorithm has the advantages that event picking on the unstacked data is not required and is not based on curve fitting of hyperbolic approximations of the arrival times. The method has been successfully applied to both synthetic and field data.
|Number of pages
|Published - Apr 1988