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Methods of Multiparameter Inversion of Seismic Data Using the Acoustic and Elastic Born Approximations


Le Bras, Ronan (1985) Methods of Multiparameter Inversion of Seismic Data Using the Acoustic and Elastic Born Approximations. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/14q2-fa62.


This thesis presents two different forms of the Born approximations for acoustic and elastic wavefields and discusses their application to the inversion of seismic data. The Born approximation is valid for small amplitude heterogeneities superimposed over a slowly varying background. The first method is related to frequency-wavenumber migration methods. It is shown to properly recover two independent acoustic parameters within the bandpass of the source time function of the experiment for contrasts of about 5 percent from data generated using an exact theory for flat interfaces. The independent determination of two parameters is shown to depend on the angle coverage of the medium. For surface data, the impedance profile is well recovered.

The second method explored is mathematically similar to iterative tomographic methods recently introduced in the geophysical literature. Its basis is an integral relation between the scattered wavefield and the medium parameters obtained after applying a far-field approximation to the first-order Born approximation. The Davidon-Fletcher-Powell algorithm is used since it converges faster than the steepest descent method. It consists essentially of successive backprojections of the recorded wavefield, with angular and propagation weighing coefficients for density and bulk modulus. After each backprojection, the forward problem is computed and the residual evaluated. Each backprojection is similar to a before-stack Kirchhoff migration and is therefore readily applicable to seismic data. Several examples of reconstruction for simple point scatterer models are performed. Recovery of the amplitudes of the anomalies are improved with successive iterations. Iterations also improve the sharpness of the images.

The elastic Born approximation, with the addition of a far-field approximation is shown to correspond physically to a sum of WKBJ-asymptotic scattered rays. Four types of scattered rays enter in the sum, corresponding to P-P, P-S, S-P and S-S pairs of incident-scattered rays. Incident rays propagate in the background medium, interacting only once with the scatterers. Scattered rays propagate as if in the background medium, with no interaction with the scatterers. An example of P-wave impedance inversion is performed on a VSP data set consisting of three offsets recorded in two wells.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Geophysics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Geological and Planetary Sciences
Major Option:Geophysics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Ahrens, Thomas J.
Thesis Committee:
  • Ahrens, Thomas J. (chair)
  • Clayton, Robert W.
  • Kanamori, Hiroo
  • Silver, Leon T.
  • Helmberger, Donald V.
Defense Date:4 June 1985
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Phillips Petroleum CompanyUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:10092013-140441093
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7983
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:11 Oct 2013 16:01
Last Modified:16 Apr 2021 23:24

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