Salt-body Inversion with Minimum Gradient Support and Sobolev Space Norm Regularizations

Vladimir Kazei, Mahesh Kalita, Tariq Ali Alkhalifah

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

17 Scopus citations


Full-waveform inversion (FWI) is a technique which solves the ill-posed seismic inversion problem of fitting our model data to the measured ones from the field. FWI is capable of providing high-resolution estimates of the model, and of handling wave propagation of arbitrary complexity (visco-elastic, anisotropic); yet, it often fails to retrieve high-contrast geological structures, such as salt. One of the reasons for the FWI failure is that the updates at earlier iterations are too smooth to capture the sharp edges of the salt boundary. We compare several regularization approaches, which promote sharpness of the edges. Minimum gradient support (MGS) regularization focuses the inversion on blocky models, even more than the total variation (TV) does. However, both approaches try to invert undesirable high wavenumbers in the model too early for a model of complex structure. Therefore, we apply the Sobolev space norm as a regularizing term in order to maintain a balance between sharp and smooth updates in FWI. We demonstrate the application of these regularizations on a Marmousi model, enriched by a chunk of salt. The model turns out to be too complex in some parts to retrieve its full velocity distribution, yet the salt shape and contrast are retrieved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication79th EAGE Conference and Exhibition 2017
PublisherEAGE Publications
ISBN (Print)9789462822177
StatePublished - May 26 2017

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We thank KAUST for support and Seismic Wave Analysis Group for fruitful discussions.


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