Differential Semblance Optimization (DSO) has been shown to be a stable and robust formalism for a number of seismic inverse problems. It has been shown to work well for Wave-Equation migration velocity analysis (MVA), which may overcome some of the problems of ray-based methods. However, velocity updates calculated from the DSO-MVA gradient suffer from artifacts in the form of strong near-vertical stripes, which are not seen in ray tomography or some other formulations of wave-equation MVA. We analyze the source of these artifacts and propose a modification to the update search direction to avoid them. Numerical tests confirm our approach, which eliminates this kind of artifact and speeds up convergence.

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