International audienceSeismic full waveform inversion is an objective method to estimate elastic properties of the subsurface and is an important area of research, particularly in seismic exploration community. It is a data-fitting approach, where the difference between observed and synthetic data is minimized iteratively. Due to a very high computational cost, the practical implementation of waveform inversion has so far been restricted to a 2-D geometry with different levels of physics incorporated in it (e.g. elasticity/viscoelasticity) or to a 3-D geometry but using an acoustic approximation. However, the earth is three-dimensional, elastic and heterogeneous and therefore a full 3-D elastic inversion is required in order to obtain more accurate and valuable models of the subsurface. Despite the recent increase in computing power, the application of 3-D elastic full waveform inversion to real-scale problems remains quite challenging on the current computer architecture. Here, we present an efficient method to perform 3-D elastic full waveform inversion for time-lapse seismic data using a finite-difference injection method. In this method, the wavefield is computed in the whole model and is stored on a surface above a finite volume where the model is perturbed and localized inversion is performed. Comparison of the final results using the 3-D finite-difference injection method and conventional 3-D inversion performed within the whole volume shows that our new method provides significant reductions in computational time and memory requirements without any notable loss in accuracy. Our approach shows a big potential for efficient reservoir monitoring in real time-lapse experiments
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