Surface imaging functions for elastic reverse time migration

Journal of Geophysical Research Solid Earth



Reverse time migration is often used to interpret acoustic or three‐component seismic recordings by creating an image of subsurface seismic reflectors. Here I describe elastic reverse time migration imaging functions that are cast as waveform misfit sensitivity kernels of contrasts in material parameters across hypothetical seismic discontinuities, that is, specular reflectors. The proposed “surface” imaging functions are theoretically applicable to either reflected or converted waves in order to estimate the location and reflectivity of these discontinuities. The surface imaging functions, as well as volumetric sensitivity kernels that target point diffractors, are tested on sets of synthetic surface array recordings that sample the 3‐D seismic wavefield on simple 2‐D structures generated using a 2.5‐D spectral element method. These tests illustrate that in contrast with the volumetric sensitivity kernels, the reflectivity is generally dominated by a high‐amplitude peak that coincides with input locations of discontinuities. Passive recordings of microseismicity, shot gathers, or a combination thereof can be potentially interpreted with the new surface imaging functions to yield useful reflectivity images.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Surface imaging functions for elastic reverse time migration
Series title Journal of Geophysical Research Solid Earth
DOI 10.1029/2018JB017089
Volume 124
Issue 3
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Earthquake Science Center
Description 23 p.
First page 2873
Last page 2895
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