An application of multiscale early arrival waveform inversion to shallow seismic data

Han Yu, Sherif M. Hanafy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We estimate the near surface velocity distribution by applying multiscale early arrival waveform inversion (MEWI) to shallow seismic land data. This data set is collected at Wadi Qudaid in western Saudi Arabia with the purpose of characterizing the shallow subsurface for its water storage and reuse potential. To enhance the accuracy of MEWI, we correct for the attenuation effects with an estimated factor Q, and also extract a natural source wavelet from the data. We then applied MEWI to invert the processed data for tomograms on different scales starting from a traveltime tomogram as our initial velocity model. Results suggest that, compared to traveltime tomography, MEWI can generate a more highly resolved velocity tomogram from shallow seismic data by inverting its low-frequency components on coarse grids and its high-frequency components on fine grids. The estimated water table in the MEWI tomogram is generally consistent with, but 9% deeper than, the traveltime tomogram, showing that the water storage in this wadi might be less than expected from the traveltime tomogram. We believe that the more accurate MEWI tomogram will make an economically important difference in assessing the storage potential of this wadi and wadis throughout the world. © 2014 European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-557
Number of pages9
JournalNear Surface Geophysics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 29 2014

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The authors acknowledge the assistance of Prof. Gerard Schuster for his extraordinary insights and comments in the development of this paper. We thank the sponsors from ofthe Center for Subsurface Imaging and Fluid Modeling (CSIM: We are also grateful for the high performance computational resources ( provided by KAUST.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics


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