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Anisotropic velocity model building for time-to-depth conversion after non-hyperbolic Kirchhoff PreSTM

Frank Adler, Total.

Summary Anisotropic time processing with non-hyperbolic Kirchhoff Pre-Stack Time Migration provides well focused images for the interpretation, but requires a revision of the time-todepth conversion process. We present a method to build an anisotropic velocity model for time-to-depth conversion, using interpretations after non-hyperbolic FullPSTM and show an application to real data. Introduction Time-to-depth conversion of time migrated horizons Full Kirchhoff Pre-Stack Time Migration (FullPSTM) is going to replace the MOVES sequence (Marcoux et al, 1987) in seismic time processing, providing better focused images for interpretation. The seismic industry proposes FullPSTM algorithms with different traveltime formulas for Kirchhoff summation. The standard formula is the doublesquare-root (DSR) equation which reduces to a hyperbolic surface for zero-offset migration. In order to improve focusing of diffractions and steeply dipping reflections in the presence of thin layering and intrinsic VTI anisotropy, the DSR can be reformulated based on non-hyperbolic moveout formulas (Siliqi et al, 2001), such as Alkhalifahs (1997) formula or Castles (1994) shifted hyperbola. The time-migrated domain is the preferred domain of interpretation because it provides well focused seismic data without conflicting dips. The interpreter picks horizons on the post-migration stack of FullPSTM. Subsequently, the horizons are converted to depth. In areas with laterally varying velocity, time-to-depth conversion with the image ray is not satisfactory because the time-migration velocity field is not representative for subsurface velocities (e.g. Sexton, 1998). We therefore demigrate the time migrated horizons into the non-migrated zero-offset domain and convert them from there to depth with a normal ray map migration. The latter step requires a velocity model in depth that is consistent with seismic wave propagation. In this paper, we build the velocity model with a layerbased tomographic traveltime inversion using stacking velocities, interpreted horizons and well-data (Sexton, 1998). The forward modeling is performed on the depth converted horizons so that the final velocity model furnishes also the solution of the depth conversion problem. We can use the velocity model of course also for depth imaging but we focus in this paper on time-to-depth conversion only. Time-to-depth conversion with normal rays requires accurate demigration of the interpreted horizons. For We convert interpreted horizons to depth by demigration of the horizons followed by a normal ray map migration. This is illustrated in Figure 1. The demigration is a mapping of a migrated reflection into its un-migrated position using traveltime and traveltime gradient. Analytic expressions for zero-offset hyperbolic time migration have been given by Whitcombe, 1994 and Sexton, 1998: MOVES and hyperbolic FullPSTM analytic expressions for the zero-offset demigration have been proposed (Whitcombe, 1994, Sexton 1998). The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that it is important to demigrate the horizons picked after nonhyperbolic FullPSTM using the zero-offset non-hyperbolic migration operator in order to (a) build a correct velocity model with tomography and (b) to accurately depth convert the horizons. This is demonstrated on synthetic and real data.

x = xm + 1 V 2t 4 m m t ( x, y ) = t m 1 +

t m x m

y = ym + 1 V 2t m 4 m m y

1 2 V 4 m

(tm )

The un-migrated reflection is mapped into depth with a normal ray map migration. This mapping requires of course a velocity-depth model.

Interpretation Demigration Velocity model

Depth migrated horizon

Figure 1: Time-to-depth conversion of a migrated horizon (red) via demigration (blue) and normal ray depth migration (black).

Layer-based tomographic stacking velocity inversion

In order to obtain an accurate velocity model for time-todepth conversion, we follow the approach of Sexton, 1998.

SEG Int'l Exposition and 74th Annual Meeting * Denver, Colorado * 10-15 October 2004

Time to depth conversion after non-hyperbolic FullPSTM

The horizons are depth converted with an initial velocity model (Figure 1) and the forward modeling consists of multi-offset ray-tracing followed by modeling of stacking velocities. The velocity model m consists of V0, k, and Thomsens (1986) parameters and . The tomographic inversion minimizes the objective function
pick pick O(m) = Vstk Vstk (m) Vstk Vstk (m) The inversion scheme can use stacking velocities which are picked before or after FullPSTM. If the stacking velocities are picked after FullPSTM (residual moveout analysis), the FullPSTM migration kinematics are applied to the ray traced data in order to bin the modelled data in the migrated position for the stacking velocity modeling.


after non-hyperbolic FullPSTM has therefore to be based on this formula, in particular for steep dips. In contrast to the hyperbolic case, this formula cannot be directly inverted to obtain the demigrated data. We implemented an iterative algorithm and used the hyperbolic solution as initial guess.
Time to depth conversion after non-hyperbolic FullPSTM

Non-hyperbolic FullPSTM

We created a simple 1-D velocity model (Figure 2) with vertical gradient and calculated analytically the migrated horizon times, V m and S m from the model parameters. This has the disadvantage that the migration parameters do not perfectly flatten the migrated gathers for large offset-depth ratios (Figure 2) but we avoid velocity and horizon picking.

It is well known from stacking velocity analysis that VTI anisotropy and fine layering generate non-hyperbolic reflection moveout (e.g. Hake et al, 1984, Alkhalifah, 1997). The seismic industry uses currently non-hyperbolic moveout approximations with different parameterizations (e.g. deBazelaire, 1988, Castle, 1994, Alkhalifah, 1997, Siliqi et al, 2001). In this paper we use the non-hyperbolic moveout formula of Castle, 1994, to demonstrate the impact of non-hyperbolic FullPSTM on time-to-depth conversion and velocity model building. The conclusions will be valid for all types of non-hyperbolic FullPSTM. The non-hyperbolic FullPSTM operator with Castles shifted hyperbola is given by
1 T ( x, y , h ) = t m 1 S m

10 V0 = 1500 m/s k = 0.5 15 20

Z t
Figure 2: Velocity model with three dipping interfaces and migrated gather after non-hyperbolic FullPSTM.

tm + 2S m tm + 2S m

( x x h )2 + ( y m y ) 2 + m 2 S mV m

where (x m , y m , t m ) is the Kirchhoff summation output point in the migrated volume with half-offset h, and V m , S m are the velocity and shift parameters for migration. It is assumed that the x-direction is on the source-receiver line and the y-direction perpendicular to it. The hyperbolic DSR equation is obtained by setting S m = 1 . The post-migration stack simulates the migrated zero-offset section. The non-hyperbolic zero-offset migration operator 1 T ( x, y, h = 0) = tm 1 S m

( x x + h )2 + ( y m y )2 + m 2 S mV m

Figure 3: Horizons on migrated zero-offset section (non-hyperbolic FullPSTM).

tm (x x )2 + ( ym y )2 +4 m + 2 S S mVm m still depends on the shift parameter for all non-zero migration offsets. The demigration of interpreted horizons

Figure 3 confirms that the analytic calculation of the horizon times is an excellent approximation to the migrated reflections after non-hyperbolic FullPSTM. Figure 4 shows the demigrated horizons on the non-migrated zero-offset section. The demigration was performed with the nonhyperbolic zero-offset migration operator. The difference between non-hyperbolic and hyperbolic demigration for all three horizons is shown in Figure 5. Note that the difference increases with dip. Figure 6 shows a detail near the deepest horizon, combining the information in Figures 4 and 5.

SEG Int'l Exposition and 74th Annual Meeting * Denver, Colorado * 10-15 October 2004

Time to depth conversion after non-hyperbolic FullPSTM

Hyperbolic demigration


Non-hyperbolic demigration
Figure 4: Demigrated horizons on zero-offset section.

Depth [m]

Horizons Non-hyperbolic Demigration Hyperbolic Demigration

Figure 7: Depth conversion of demigrated horizons with exact velocity model. The horizon demigrated with the hyperbolic formula is 90 m too shallow.
pick pick Vstk Vstk (m) 1 Vstk Vstk (m) C pick O(m) = pick S S stk S stk (m) stk S stk (m) T

Figure 5: Comparison between hyperbolic and non-hyperbolic demigration. 100ms


500 m Figure 6: Zero-offset section with horizon in migrated position (yellow line), non-hyperbolic demigration (red dots) and hyperbolic demigration (green dots).

Figure 7 shows the depth converted horizons after hyperbolic and non-hyperbolic demigration. The exact velocity model was used. The positioning error on the time section in Figure 6 translates into an error of 90 meters in depth.
Velocity model building after non-hyperbolic FullPSTM

We applied the tomographic inversion to the analytically calculated migration velocities and shift parameters, first without prior residual moveout correction or offset muting, using (a) the non-hyperbolic and (b) the hyperbolic FullPSTM kinematics. We fixed the vertical velocity gradient to the exact value (k=0.5) and obtained in case (a) V0=1516m/s and in case (b) V0=1497m/s. This result is biased by the non-corrected residual moveout (Figure 2). Although the model parameters are better restored with hyperbolic FullPSTM kinematics, the model obtained with non-hyperbolic FullPSTM kinematics provides an almost accurate depth-conversion of the deepest horizon (Figure 8). The depth error is again about 90 meters. In Figure 8, the yellow triangle is a velocity analysis point in the migrated position. Non-hyperbolic FullPSTM migrates the data of the red rays into the velocity ananlysis position. The green rays correspond to hyperbolic FullPSTM. After residual moveout correction we obtained in case (a) the accurate V0=1500m/s and in case (b) V0=1480m/s.
Application to real data

The time-to-depth conversion process is used for the tomographic stacking velocity inversion and we have shown that it is important to take the kinematics of nonhyperbolic FullPSTM into account. Another aspect of nonhyperbolic FullPSTM is that residual moveout corrections should flatten non-hyperbolic events in the migrated gathers. In order to invert the non-hyperbolic stacking velocities we adapted the objective function of Williamson and Sexton, 1999, for Castles shift parameter:

Finally, we applied the tomographic stacking velocity inversion to a marine seismic data set processed with nonhyperbolic FullPSTM. The selected depth interval is between the water-bottom and the base of a thick sedimentary formation with fine layering. Well data suggest an average a priori value of the gradient k=0.45, which was held fixed during inversion of non-hyperbolic stacking velocities and depth-markers of several wells.

SEG Int'l Exposition and 74th Annual Meeting * Denver, Colorado * 10-15 October 2004

Time to depth conversion after non-hyperbolic FullPSTM

Non-hyperbolic FullPSTM

Hyperbolic FullPSTM



Exact Figure 8: Deep depth horizon in inverted velocity model obtained with tomography using kinematics of non-hyperbolic (red) and hyperbolic (green) FullPSTM. The exact horizon is displayed in yellow (almost coincident just above the red horizon). Figure 10: Average interval velocities after isotropic and anisotropic inversion. The black bar indicates the range of interval velocities observed in well data.


We determined (a) an isotropic velocity layer (V0(x,y),k) by inverting only the stacking velocities, (b) an anisotropic velocity layer (V0(x,y), k, , ) using all data. Figure 9 shows the depth converted horizons for both cases with some well markers (circles). The anisotropic model can resolve the mismatch between horizon and well markers while providing realistic interval velocities which are observed in well data (Figure 10).
V(x,y) K=0.45

I would like to thank Total for the permission to publish this work and Paul Sexton (Total), Nabil Tnacheri (NTConseil), Jerme Gonnon (NTConseil) and Jean-Louis Petit (Ajilon Engineering) for their contributions.

120m V(x,y) K=0.45 =0.08, =0.17


Figure 9: Top: Depth conversion with isotropic velocity model. The horizon is too deep for three wells markers out of four. Bottom: Depth conversion with anisotropic velocity model. The horizon matches three markers. One marker is below the horizon.


Accurate depth conversion of horizons picked after nonhyperbolic FullPSTM needs to take into account the nonhyperbolicity of the migration operator. We presented a method to build an anisotropic velocity model for this depth conversion problem and applied it to a real data set.

Alkhalifah, T., 1997, Velocity analysis using nonhyperbolic moveout in transversely isotropic media: Geophysics, 62, 1839-1854. deBazelaire, E., 1988, Normal moveout revisited: Inhomogeneous media and curved interfaces: Geophysics, 53, 143-157. Castle, R.J., 1994, A theory of normal moveout: Geophysics, 59, 983-999. Hake, H., Helbig, K., and Mesdag, C.S., 1984, Three-term Taylor series for t2-x2 curves over layered transversely isotropic ground: Geophys. Prosp., 32, 828-850. Marcoux, M., Godfrey, R., and Notfors, C., 1987, Migration for optimum velocity evaluation and stacking (MOVES): 49th EAGE Annual Meeting. Sexton, P., 1998, 3D Velocity-depth model building using surface seismic and well data: PhD thesis, University of Durham. Siliqi, R., Bousqui, N., and Hardouin, D., 2001, Time to move to anelliptic time processing: 71th SEG Ann. Internat. Mtg., Expanded Abstracts. Thomsen, L., 1986, Weak elastic anisotropy: Geophysics, 51, 1954-1966. Williamson, P.R, and Sexton P., 1999, Anisotropic prestack velocity inversion: A North Africa case study: 69th SEG Annual Mtg, Extended Abstracts, 1592-1595. Whitcombe, D.N., 1994, Fast model building using demigration and single-step ray migration: Geophysics, 59, 1290-1304.

SEG Int'l Exposition and 74th Annual Meeting * Denver, Colorado * 10-15 October 2004