An approximate inverse to the extended Born modeling operator

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Society of Exploration Geophysicists

Given a correct (data-consistent) velocity model, reverse time migration (RTM) correctly positions reflectors but generally with incorrect amplitudes and wavelets. Iterative least-squares migration (LSM) corrects the amplitude and wavelet by fitting data in the sense of Born modeling, that is, replacing migration by Born inversion. However, LSM also requires a correct velocity model, and it may require many migration/demigration cycles. We modified RTM in the subsurface offset domain to create an asymptotic (high-frequency) approximation to extended LSM. This extended Born inversion operator outputs extended reflectors (depending on the subsurface offset and position in the earth) with correct amplitude and phase, in the sense that similarly extended Born modeling reproduces the data to good accuracy. Although the theoretical justification of the inversion property relies on ray tracing and stationary phase, application of the weight operators does not require any computational ray tracing. The computational expense of the extended Born inversion operator is roughly the same as that of extended RTM, and the inversion (data-fit) property holds even when the velocity is substantially incorrect. The approximate inverse operator differes from extended RTM only in the application of data- and model-domain weight operators, and takes the form of an adjoint in the sense of weighted inner products in data and model space. Because the Born modeling operator is approximately unitary with respect to the weighted inner products, a weighted version of conjugate gradient iteration dramatically accelerates the convergence of extended LSM. An approximate LSM may be extracted from the approximate extended LSM by averaging over subsurface offset.

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Hou, Jie and Symes, William W.. "An approximate inverse to the extended Born modeling operator." Geophysics, 80, no. 6 (2015) Society of Exploration Geophysicists: R331-R349.

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