An accurate earth model is key to any successful depth imaging effort. Full waveform inversion is an advanced velocity model building process which uses the full two way wave equation. Existing methods use a ray tracing approach to distribute velocity errors within the model. In this presentation, we will show examples of seismic data processed with the latest technology, including earth model building with full waveform inversion.


The industry has moved to using two-way wave equation migrations(commonly known as reverse time migration), especially in areas of complex geology such as the salt bodies in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Brazil. The velocity model, including velocity anisotropy, is key to any depth migration effort. The natural next step is to use the two-way wave equation for velocity model building. One of the most advanced tools for velocity model building using the two-way wave equation is Full Waveform Inversion(FWI). Full-waveform inversion uses computer intensive forward modeling of the seismic measurement combined with residual wavefield back propagation to iterate to a final velocity model, which can provide greater detail than tomographic ray tracing approaches. Velocity inversion using full waveform inversion has been used on a number of projects around the world including the GOM, Brazil and the North Sea.

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