Full seismic waveform inversion is an iterative data fitting procedure, based on full waveform modelling, which directly extracts high resolution quantitative information on the subsurface from seismograms. We present an application of frequency-domain early arrival acoustic waveform inversion to a 2D land seismic dataset in Saudi Arabia for near-surface velocity model building. Traditional traveltime methods for velocity estimation can be inadequate in arid environments where karsting, low velocity layers, outcropping refractors, and strong velocity contrasts are common. We show that the velocities estimated by waveform inversion dramatically improve the imaging of nearsurface structures compared to traveltime tomography.


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