Investigation into the use of 2D elastic waveform inversion from look-ahead walk-away VSP surveys
Mark A. Roberts, Satish Singh and Brian E. Hornby
Journal name: Geophysical Prospecting
Issue: Vol 56, No 6, November 2008 pp. 883 - 895
Special topic: Towards a Full Waveform Inversion
Info: Article, PDF ( 1.24Mb )
Pore pressure in sediments beneath salt in the Gulf of Mexico varies widely creating a potentially dangerous and difficult drilling challenge. Estimating elastic parameters of sediments beneath salt is key to the prediction of pore pressure and reducing the drilling risk in exiting the base of the salt. In this paper we investigate the ability of 2D waveform inversion to recover the elastic parameters in the sedimentary layer beneath the salt from a walk-away VSP (vertical seismic profile) carried out with the receivers in the salt, with the objective of estimating pore pressure at the base of the salt (to be estimated using traditional methods). We propose an effective method for performing the inversion and apply this method to a blind test of a large and realistic synthetic dataset. To facilitate the design of a VSP survey suitable to this type of inversion we also present an analysis into the effects of the receiver array receiver spacing. It is shown that the resulting velocity estimates are sufficiently accurate to predict the pore pressure within the limits required for drilling.