Since the 1990s, subsalt imaging in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) has been a major focus of oil and gas exploration. Due to the high velocity contrast between salt and sediment, defining salt geometry has been the key to successful subsalt imaging and efforts have been made to implement new methods to correctly determine salt geometry. While salt boundary definition is heavily dependent on manual picking, other methods have been proposed for inversion of sediments inside salt. In this paper, we demonstrate that full-waveform inversion can be a powerful and accurate alternative to unravel the complexity of sediment inclusion contained within the salt.
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2012. Society of Exploration Geophysicists