Elastic and Acoustic Wavefield Decompositions and Application to Reverse Time Migrations



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P- and S-waves coexist in elastic wavefields, and separation between them is an essential step in elastic reverse-time migrations (RTMs). Unlike the traditional separation methods that use curl and divergence operators, which do not preserve the wavefield vector component information, we propose and compare two vector decomposition methods, which preserve the same vector components that exist in the input elastic wavefield. The amplitude and phase information is automatically preserved, so no amplitude or phase corrections are required. The decoupled propagation method is extended from elastic to viscoelastic wavefields

To use the decomposed P and S vector wavefields and generate PP and PS images, we create a new 2D migration context for isotropic, elastic RTM which includes PS vector decomposition; the propagation directions of both incident and reflected P- and S-waves are calculated directly from the stress and particle velocity definitions of the decomposed P- and S-wave Poynting vectors. Then an excitation-amplitude image condition that scales the receiver wavelet by the source vector magnitude produces angle-dependent images of PP and PS reflection coefficients with the correct polarities, polarization, and amplitudes. It thus simplifies the process of obtaining PP and PS angle-domain common-image gathers (ADCIGs); it is less effort to generate ADCIGs from vector data than from scalar data.

Besides P- and S-waves decomposition, separations of up- and down-going waves are also a part of processing of multi-component recorded data and propagating wavefields. A complex trace based up/down separation approach is extended from acoustic to elastic, and combined with P- and S-wave decomposition by decoupled propagation. This eliminates the need for a Fourier transform over time, thereby significantly reducing the storage cost and improving computational efficiency. Wavefield decomposition is applied to both synthetic elastic VSP data and propagating wavefield snapshots. Poynting vectors obtained from the particle-velocity and stress fields after P/S and up/down decompositions are much more accurate than those without.

The up/down separation algorithm is also applicable in acoustic RTMs, where both (forward-time extrapolated) source and (reverse-time extrapolated) receiver wavefields are decomposed into up-going and down-going parts. Together with the crosscorrelation imaging condition, four images (down-up, up-down, up-up and down-down) are generated, which facilitate the analysis of artifacts and the imaging ability of the four images. Artifacts may exist in all the decomposed images, but their positions and types are different. The causes of artifacts in different images are explained and illustrated with sketches and numerical tests.



Sound, Decomposition (Mathematics), Migration, Shear waves, Elastic waves



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