Novel Misfit Functions for Full-waveform Inversion

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The main objective of this thesis is to develop novel misfit functions for full-waveform inversion such that (a) the estimation of the long-wavelength model will less likely stagnate in spurious local minima and (b) the inversion is immune to wavelet inaccuracy. First, I investigate the pros and cons of misfit functions based on optimal transport theory to indicate the traveltime discrepancy for seismic data. Even though the mathematically well-defined optimal transport theory is robust to highlight the traveltime difference between two probability distributions, it becomes restricted as applied to seismic data mainly because the seismic data are not probability distribution functions. We then develop a misfit function combining the local cross-correlation and dynamic time warping. This combination enables the proposed misfit automatically identify arrivals associated with a phase shift. Numerical and field data examples demonstrate its robustness for early arrivals and limitations for later arrivals.%, which means that a proper pre-processing step is still required. Next, we introduce differentiable dynamic time warping distance as the misfit function highlighting the traveltime discrepancy without non-trivial human intervention. Compared to the conventional warping distance, the differentiable version retains the property of representing the traveltime difference; moreover, it can eliminate abrupt changes in the adjoint source, which helps full-waveform inversion converge to geologically relevant estimates. Finally, we develop a misfit function entitled the deconvolutional double-difference measurement. The new misfit measures the first difference by deconvolution rather than cross-correlation. We also present the derivation of the adjoint source with the new misfit function. Numerical examples and mathematical proof demonstrate that this modification makes full-waveform inversion with the deconvolutional double-difference measurement immune to wavelet inaccuracy.
Date of AwardApr 2022
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorDaniel Peter (Supervisor)


  • Full-waveform Inversion
  • Misfit Function
  • Deconvolutional Double-difference
  • Dynamic Time Warping
  • Optimal Transport
  • Cycle-Skipping

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