Resolution limits for wave equation imaging

Yunsong Huang, Gerard T. Schuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Formulas are derived for the resolution limits of migration-data kernels associated with diving waves, primary reflections, diffractions, and multiple reflections. They are applicable to images formed by reverse time migration (RTM), least squares migration (LSM), and full waveform inversion (FWI), and suggest a multiscale approach to iterative FWI based on multiscale physics. That is, at the early stages of the inversion, events that only generate low-wavenumber resolution should be emphasized relative to the high-wavenumber resolution events. As the iterations proceed, the higher-resolution events should be emphasized. The formulas also suggest that inverting multiples can provide some low- and intermediate-wavenumber components of the velocity model not available in the primaries. Finally, diffractions can provide twice or better the resolution than specular reflections for comparable depths of the reflector and diffractor. The width of the diffraction-transmission wavepath is approximately λ at the diffractor location for the diffraction-transmission wavepath. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-148
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Geophysics
StatePublished - Aug 2014

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: Research reported in this publication was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics


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