Wei Dai's PhD Dissertation

Multisource Least-squares Migration and Prism Wave Reverse Time Migration

(Ph.D. Dissertation)

Wei Dai, University of Utah

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Least-squares migration has been shown to be able to produce high quality migration images, but its computational cost is considered to be too high for practical imaging. In this dissertation, a multisource least-squares migration algorithm (MLSM) is proposed to increase the computational efficiency by utilizing the blended sources processing technique. The MLSM algorithm is implemented with both the Kirchhoff migration and reverse time migration methods. In the last chapter, a new method is proposed to migrate prism waves separately to illuminate vertical reflectors such as salt flanks. Its advantage over standard RTM method is that it does not require modifying the migration velocity model. There are three main chapters in this dissertation. In Chapter 2, the MLSM algorithm is implemented with Kirchhoff migration and random time-shift encoding functions. Numerical results with Kirchhoff least-squares migration on the 2D SEG/EAGE salt model show that an accurate image is obtained by migrating a supergather of 320 phase-encoded shots. When the encoding functions are the same for every iteration, the I/O cost of MLSM is reduced by 320 times. Empirical results show that the crosstalk noise introduced by blended sources is more effectively reduced when the encoding functions are changed at every iteration. The analysis of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) suggests that an acceptable number of iterations are needed to enhance the SNR to an acceptable level. The benefit is that Kirchhoff MLSM is a few times faster than standard LSM, and produces much more resolved images than standard Kirchhoff migration. In Chapter 3, the MLSM algorithm is implemented with the reverse time migration method and a new parameterization, where the migration image of each shot gather is updated separately and an ensemble of prestack images is produced along with common image gathers. The merits of prestack plane-wave LSRTM are the following: (1) plane-wave prestack LSRTM can sometimes offer stable convergence even when the migration velocity has bulk errors of up to 5\%; (2) to significantly reduce computation cost, linear phase-shift encoding is applied to hundreds of shot gathers to produce dozens of plane waves. Unlike phase-shift encoding with random time shifts applied to each shot gather, plane-wave encoding can be effectively applied to data with a marine streamer geometry; (3) plane-wave prestack LSRTM can provide higher quality images than standard RTM. Numerical tests on the Marmousi2 model and a marine field dataset are performed to illustrate the benefits of plane-wave least-squares reverse time migration. In Chapter 4, I present a new reverse time migration method for imaging salt flanks with prism wave reflections. It consists of four steps: (1) migrating the seismic data with conventional RTM to give the RTM image; (2) using the RTM image as a reflectivity model to simulate source-side reflections with the Born approximation; (3) zero-lag correlation of the source-side reflection wavefields and receiver-side wavefields to produce the prism wave migration image; and (4) repeating steps 2 and 3 for the receiver-side reflections. An advantage of this method over standard RTM is that there is no need to pick the horizontal reflectors prior to migration of the prism waves. It also separately images the vertical structures at a different step to reduce crosstalk interference. The empirical results with salt model data suggest that prism wave migration can be an effective method for salt flank delineation in the absence of diving waves.