Beyond conventional migration: Non-linear elastic subsalt imaging with transmissions and two-sided illumination

Matteo Ravasi, Ivan Vasconcelos, Andrew Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Source-receiver interferometric imaging can be used to synthesize a subsurface acoustic or elastic image, consisting of a zero-time, zero-offset response (or Green's function) between a colocated pseudo-source and pseudo-receiver placed at each point in the subsurface image. However, if the imaging process does not properly account for multiple reflections, and enclosing boundaries of sources and receivers are not available, the image shows artefacts, poorly illuminated areas and distorted image amplitudes. Here we demonstrate with numerical examples that two-sided non-linear imaging provides the best elastic pure-mode (PP and SS) and converted-mode (PS) images, having higher resolution and more uniform illumination than those obtained from both one-sided linear imaging and from other intermediate steps of imaging (e.g. non-linear one-sided, linear two-sided). We also propose practical approaches to construct the additional fields required by two-sided non-linear imaging without the need for a detailed velocity model and receivers (and/or sources) in the subsurface. Moreover, when conversions are used for imaging, 'true-amplitude' images (here true-amplitude means properly retrieving amplitudes that represent the zero-time, zero-offset elastic response) should theoretically vanish because neither P-to-S or S-to-P conversions arise at zero-time and zero-offset. Applying a correction procedure that accounts for the polarity reversal in PS (or SP) single-shot images helps with their structural interpretation but results in an unphysical estimate of the subsurface response and uninterpretable amplitudes. This suggests that there are advantages in exploiting pure-mode SS reflections/transmissions, in addition to converted waves only, because they require no polarity correction and the resulting image contains meaningful amplitudes that are proportional to the local shear-wave properties of the medium. © The Authors 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1173-1185
Number of pages13
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

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