Refraction traveltime tomography with irregular topography using the unwrapped phase inversion

Yun Seok Choi, Tariq Ali Alkhalifah

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Traveltime tomography has long served as a stable and efficient tool for velocity estimation, especially for the near surface. It, however, suffers from some of limitations associated with ray tracing and high-frequency traveltime in velocity inversion zones and ray shadow regions. We develop a tomographic approach based on traveltime solutions obtained by tracking the phase (instantaneous traveltime) of the wavefield solution of the Helmholtz wave equation. Since the instantaneous-traveltime does not suffer from phase wrapping, the inversion algorithm using the instantaneous-traveltime has the potential to generate robust inversion results. With a high damping factor, the instantaneous-traveltime inversion provides refraction tomography similar results, but from a single frequency. Despite the Helmholtz-based solver implementation, the tomographic inversion handles irrgular topography. The numerical examples show that our inversion algorithm generates a convergent smooth velocity model, which looks very much like a tomographic result. Next, we plan to apply the instantaneous-traveltime inversion algorithm to real seismic data acquired from the near surface with irregular topography.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLondon 2013, 75th eage conference en exhibition incorporating SPE Europec
PublisherEAGE Publications
ISBN (Print)9781629937915
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01


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