Seismic Ray Impedance Inversion


This thesis investigates a prestack seismic inversion scheme implemented in the ray parameter domain. Conventionally, most prestack seismic inversion methods are performed in the incidence angle domain. However, inversion using the concept of ray impedance, as it honours ray path variation following the elastic parameter variation according to Snell’s law, shows the capacity to discriminate different lithologies if compared to conventional elastic impedance inversion. The procedure starts with data transformation into the ray-parameter domain and then implements the ray impedance inversion along constant ray-parameter profiles. With different constant-ray-parameter profiles, mixed-phase wavelets are initially estimated based on the high-order statistics of the data and further refined after a proper well-to-seismic tie. With the estimated wavelets ready, a Cauchy inversion method is used to invert for seismic reflectivity sequences, aiming at recovering seismic reflectivity sequences for blocky impedance inversion. The impedance inversion from reflectivity sequences adopts a standard generalised linear inversion scheme, whose results are utilised to identify rock properties and facilitate quantitative interpretation. It has also been demonstrated that we can further invert elastic parameters from ray impedance values, without eliminating an extra density term or introducing a Gardner’s relation to absorb this term. Ray impedance inversion is extended to P-S converted waves by introducing the definition of converted-wave ray impedance. This quantity shows some advantages in connecting prestack converted wave data with well logs, if compared with the shearwave elastic impedance derived from the Aki and Richards approximation to the Zoeppritz equations. An analysis of P-P and P-S wave data under the framework of ray impedance is conducted through a real multicomponent dataset, which can reduce the uncertainty in lithology identification.Inversion is the key method in generating those examples throughout the entire thesis as we believe it can render robust solutions to geophysical problems. Apart from the reflectivity sequence, ray impedance and elastic parameter inversion mentioned above, inversion methods are also adopted in transforming the prestack data from the offset domain to the ray-parameter domain, mixed-phase wavelet estimation, as well as the registration of P-P and P-S waves for the joint analysis. The ray impedance inversion methods are successfully applied to different types of datasets. In each individual step to achieving the ray impedance inversion, advantages, disadvantages as well as limitations of the algorithms adopted are detailed. As a conclusion, the ray impedance related analyses demonstrated in this thesis are highly competent compared with the classical elastic impedance methods and the author would like to recommend it for a wider application

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