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TAS

2018 SEG/AAPG Distinguished Lecturer: Satish Singh

Tuesday, August 7, 2018
17:30
19:00

Seismic Full Waveform Inversion for Fundamental Scientific and Industrial Problems.

Seismic waveform inversion is a powerful method used to quantify the elastic property of the subsurface. Although the development of seismic waveform inversion started in the early 1980s and was applied to solve scientific problems, it became popular in industry only about 15 years ago. One of the key elements in the success of seismic waveform inversion has been the increase of the acquisition of long offset seismic data from 3 km in the early 1990s to more than 15 km today. Not only did long offset data provide refraction arrivals, but it also allowed recording of wide-angle reflections, including critical angles, providing unique information about the subsurface geology.

In this talk, I will elaborate on the early development of the seismic full waveform inversion (FWI) and its application to solve fundamental scientific problems. The first big success of FWI was its application to gas hydrate reflections, also known as bottom simulating reflection (BSR), which showed that the
BSRs are mainly due the presence of a small amount of free methane gas, not a large amount of hydrates stored above the BSR, and hence the total amount of methane stored in marine sediments should be much less than previously estimated. A second major success of FWI was its application to quantify the characteristics of the axial melt lens observed beneath ocean spreading centers. The seismic full waveform inversion results show that one can distinguish between pure melt and partially molten mush within a 50 m thick melt lens, allowing to link the melt delivery from the mantle with the hydrothermal circulation on the seafloor. The application of full waveform inversion to spreading center problems has become an important area of research.

Unlike in sedimentary environment, the seafloor in general scientific environment could be very rough and water depth could be deep, making it very difficult to use the conventional method of background velocity estimation. To address this issue, the surface seismic data could be downward continued to the seafloor, as if both streamer and sources were placed on the seafloor, similar to land geometry. This method allows to bring the refraction starting from zero offset to far offset, which is extremely useful for full waveform inversion of first arrivals. The downward continuation also allows to reduce the seafloor diffraction, increase the moveout of reflection arrivals, and enhance wide-angle reflections, all important for seismic full waveform inversion. The application of a combination of downward continuation and FWI has allowed to quantify gas anomalies in sedimentary basins and fluids at subduction fronts. The waveform inversion also has been used to monitor CO 2 sequestration.

I will explain the intricacy of FWI, based on the physics of waves, specifically the role of amplitudes and converted waves in addressing fundamental scientific problems. The presentation should interest professionals working in the oil and gas sectors, or crustal studies and global seismology.

More details and biography.

Date City Address
30 July Brisbane  
1 August Canberra Scrivener Room, Geoscience Australia, CANBERRA
2 August Victoria Kelvin Club, 18-30 Melbourne Place, MELBOURNE
7 August Adelaide Coopers Alehouse, 316 Pulteney St ADELAIDE
8 August Sydney The University of Sydney
14 August Hobart CODES Conference Room, University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay
15 August Perth Ground Floor, 1 Ord St, WEST PERTH

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