1887
Volume 36 Number 4
  • E-ISSN: 1365-2478

Abstract

ABSTRACT

The classical aim of non‐linear inversion of seismograms is to obtain the earth model which, for null initial conditions and given sources, best predicts the observed seismograms. This problem is currently solved by an iterative method: each iteration involves the resolution of the wave equation with the actual sources in the current medium, the resolution of the wave equation, backwards in time, with the current residuals as sources; and the correlation, at each point of space, of the two wavefields thus obtained.

Our view of inversion is more general: we want to obtain a whole set of earth model, initial conditions, source functions, and predicted seismograms, which are the closest to some values, and which are related through the wave equation. It allows us to justify the previous method, but it also allows us to set the same inverse problem in a different way: what is now searched for is the best fit between calculated and initial conditions, for given sources and observed surface displacements. This leads to a completely different iterative method, in which each iteration involves the downward extrapolation of given surface displacements and tractions, down to a given depth (the‘bottom’), the upward extrapolation of null displacements and tractions at the bottom, using as sources the initial time conditions of the previous field, and a correlation, at each point of the space, of the two wavefields thus obtained. Besides the theoretical interest of the result, it opens the way to alternative numerical methods of resolution of the inverse problem. If the non‐linear inversion using forward‐backward time propagations now works, this non‐linear inversion using downward‐upward extrapolations will give the same results but more economically, because of some tricks which may be used in depth extrapolation (calculation frequency by frequency, inversion of the top layers before the bottom layers, etc.).

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