Traveltime approximations and parameter estimation for orthorhombic media

Nabil Masmoudi, Tariq Ali Alkhalifah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Building anisotropy models is necessary for seismic modeling and imaging. However, anisotropy estimation is challenging due to the trade-off between inhomogeneity and anisotropy. Luckily, we can estimate the anisotropy parameters Building anisotropy models is necessary for seismic modeling and imaging. However, anisotropy estimation is challenging due to the trade-off between inhomogeneity and anisotropy. Luckily, we can estimate the anisotropy parameters if we relate them analytically to traveltimes. Using perturbation theory, we have developed traveltime approximations for orthorhombic media as explicit functions of the anellipticity parameters η1, η2, and Δχ in inhomogeneous background media. The parameter Δχ is related to Tsvankin-Thomsen notation and ensures easier computation of traveltimes in the background model. Specifically, our expansion assumes an inhomogeneous ellipsoidal anisotropic background model, which can be obtained from well information and stacking velocity analysis. We have used the Shanks transform to enhance the accuracy of the formulas. A homogeneous medium simplification of the traveltime expansion provided a nonhyperbolic moveout description of the traveltime that was more accurate than other derived approximations. Moreover, the formulation provides a computationally efficient tool to solve the eikonal equation of an orthorhombic medium, without any constraints on the background model complexity. Although, the expansion is based on the factorized representation of the perturbation parameters, smooth variations of these parameters (represented as effective values) provides reasonable results. Thus, this formulation provides a mechanism to estimate the three effective parameters η1, η2, and Δχ. We have derived Dix-type formulas for orthorhombic medium to convert the effective parameters to their interval values.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C127-C137
Number of pages1
JournalGEOPHYSICS
Volume81
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2 2016

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