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A new waveform inversion workflow: Application to near-surface velocity estimation in Saudi Arabia

Xukai Shen, Thierry Tonellot, Yi Luo, Tim Keho and Robert Ley


Waveform inversion is a more accurate near-surface velocity estimation tool than ray-based methods. It is able to solve complex near-surface velocity structure where conventional ray-based methods fail. If errors in the initial model are too large, waveform inversion will fail to converge to the correct model. This convergence problem is particularly obvious for large near-surface velocity contrasts and velocity inversions. We propose to address this issue with a new inversion workflow that adds a wave-equation traveltime inversion step prior to waveform inversion. The performance of our approach is evaluated on both synthetic and field data.