High-resolution and super stacking of time-reversal mirrors in locating seismic sources

Weiping Cao, Sherif M. Hanafy, Gerard T. Schuster, Ge Zhan, Chaiwoot Boonyasiriwat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Time reversal mirrors can be used to backpropagate and refocus incident wavefields to their actual source location, with the subsequent benefits of imaging with high-resolution and super-stacking properties. These benefits of time reversal mirrors have been previously verified with computer simulations and laboratory experiments but not with exploration-scale seismic data. We now demonstrate the high-resolution and the super-stacking properties in locating seismic sources with field seismic data that include multiple scattering. Tests on both synthetic data and field data show that a time reversal mirror has the potential to exceed the Rayleigh resolution limit by factors of 4 or more. Results also show that a time reversal mirror has a significant resilience to strong Gaussian noise and that accurate imaging of source locations from passive seismic data can be accomplished with traces having signal-to-noise ratios as low as 0.001. Synthetic tests also demonstrate that time reversal mirrors can sometimes enhance the signal by a factor proportional to the square root of the product of the number of traces, denoted as N and the number of events in the traces. This enhancement property is denoted as super-stacking and greatly exceeds the classical signal-to-noise enhancement factor of. High-resolution and super-stacking are properties also enjoyed by seismic interferometry and reverse-time migration with the exact velocity model. © 2011 European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalGeophysical Prospecting
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 8 2011

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We thank the American Chemical Society, the 2007 sponsors of the University of Utah Tomography and Model/Migration (UTAM) Consortium and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology for their support (http://utam.gg.utah.edu and http://csim.kaust.edu.sa). The assistance in the experiment from Naoshi Aoki, Shuqian Dong, Shendong Liu, Yanwei Xue and Xiang Xiao is also highly appreciated. We are grateful to the reviewers for the helpful suggestions.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics


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