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Migration of mixed-mode VSP wavefieldsNormal access

Authors: P. B. Dillon, H. Ahmed and T. Roberts
Journal name: Geophysical Prospecting
Issue: Vol 36, No 8, November 1988 pp. 825 - 846
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2478.1988.tb02195.x
Organisations: Wiley
Language: English
Info: Article, PDF ( 1.44Mb )

Two-dimensional VSP surveys are often conducted to provide structural illumination of the subsurface away from the borehole. The illumination is achieved through offsetting the source with respect to the downhole geophone. This inevitably gives rise to mode-conversions in both downgoing and upgoing wavefields.

Migration of mixed-mode wavefields is complex because the velocity profile used for wavefield extrapolation is valid only for a particular propagation mode; the other mode always propagates at a different velocity. It is therefore advisable to separate the wave-types (P-wave and SV-wave) prior to migration. This may be achieved through wavemode filtering, a multichannel process which exploits the relation between propagation velocity, slowness of events at the recording array and particle motion. The necessary information about particle motion is available only if the VSP data are acquired with a three-component downhole geophone assembly.

The wavemode filter partitions wave-types at the recording array; it provides no information about the various changes of propagation mode experienced by the energy as it travels from source to geophone. For the purpose of migration, the intermediate modes of propagation must be deduced.

Much of the energy arriving at the receivers is P-wave which has followed the P-wave velocity profile from the source. It can therefore be imaged by conventional (Kirchhoff) migration. As an example of SV-wave imaging, a common mode-code is P-wave from source to reflector and SV-wave from reflector to geophone. Migration of such data calls for back-propagation of the geophone array wavefield, at SV-wave velocity, to the point in the subsurface where it is time-coincident with the forward propagated downwave, at P-wave velocity.

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