EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Band-limited scattered wavefield reconstruction beneath complex overburdens using the Marchenko method

David Vargas1, Ivan Vasconcelos1, and Matteo Ravasi2
David Vargas et al.
  • 1Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 2Earth Science and Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia

Structural imaging beneath complex overburdens, such as sub-salt or sub-basalt, typically characterized by high-impedance contrasts represents a major challenge for state-of-the-art seismic methods. Reconstructing complex geological structures in the vicinity of and below salt bodies is challenging not only due to uneven, single-sided illumination of the target area but also because of the imperfect removal of surface and internal multiples from the recorded data, as required by traditional migration algorithms. In such tectonic setups, most of the downgoing seismic wavefield is reflected toward the surface when interacting with the overburden's top layer. Similarly, the sub-salt upcoming energy is backscattered at the salt's base. Consequently, the actual energy illuminating the sub-salt reflectors, recorded at the surface, is around the noise level. In diapiric trap systems, conventional seismic extrapolation techniques do not guarantee sufficient quality to reduce exploration and production risks; likewise, seismic-based reservoir characterization and monitoring are also compromised. In this regard, accurate wavefield extrapolation techniques based on the Marchenko method may open up new ways to exploit seismic data.

The Marchenko redatuming technique retrieves reliable full-wavefield information in the presence of geologic intrusions, which can be subsequently used to produce artefact-free images by naturally including all orders of multiples present in seismic reflection data. To achieve such a goal, the method relies on the estimation of focusing operators allowing the synthesis of virtual surveys at a given depth level. Still, current Marchenko implementations do not fully incorporate available subsurface models with sharp contrasts, due to the requirements regarding the initialization of the focusing functions. Most importantly, in complex media, even a fairly accurate estimation of a direct wave as a proxy for the required initial focusing functions may not be enough to guarantee sufficiently accurate wavefield reconstruction.

In this talk, we will discuss a scattering-based Marchenko redatuming framework which improves the redatuming of seismic surface data in highly complex media when compared to other Marchenko-based schemes. This extended version is designed to accommodate for band-limited, multi-component, and possibly unevenly sampled seismic data, which contain both free-surface and internal multiples, whilst requiring minimum pre-processing steps. The performance of our scattering Marchenko method will be evaluated using a comprehensive set of numerical tests on a complex 2D subsalt model.

How to cite: Vargas, D., Vasconcelos, I., and Ravasi, M.: Band-limited scattered wavefield reconstruction beneath complex overburdens using the Marchenko method, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-12557,, 2021.


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