The conventional time-reversal imaging approach for micro-seismic or passive source location is based on focusing the back-propagated wavefields from each recorded trace in a source image. It suffers from strong background noise and limited acquisition aperture, which may create unexpected artifacts and cause error in the source location. To overcome such a problem, we propose a new imaging condition for microseismic imaging, which is based on comparing the amplitude variance in certain windows, and use it to suppress the artifacts as well as find the right location for passive sources. Instead of simply searching for the maximum energy point in the back-propagated wavefield, we calculate the amplitude variances over a window moving in both space and time axis to create a highly resolved passive event image. The variance operation has negligible cost compared with the forward/backward modeling operations, which reveals that the maximum variance imaging condition is efficient and effective. We test our approach numerically on a simple three-layer model and on a piece of the Marmousi model as well, both of which have shown reasonably good results.


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