A significant problem in seismic imaging is seismically seeing below salt structures: large velocity contrasts and the irregular geometry of the salt-sediment interface strongly defocus both the downgoing and upgoing seismic wavefields. This can result in severely defocused migration images so as to seismically render some subsalt reserves invisible. The potential cure is a good estimate of the subsalt and salt velocity distributions, but that is also the problem: severe velocity contrasts prevent the appearance of coherent subsalt reflections in the surface records so that MVA or tomographic methods can become ineffective. We now present an interferometric method for extracting the diffraction signals that emanate from diffractors, also denoted as seismic guide stars. The signal-to-noise ratio of these interferometric diffractions is enhanced by N, where N is the number of source points coincident with the receiver points. Thus, diffractions from subsalt guide stars can then be rendered visible and so can be used for velocity analysis, migration, and focusing of subsalt reflections. Both synthetic and field data records are used to demonstrate the benefits and limitations of this method. © 2011 Society of Exploration Geophysicists.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology