High-resolution and super stacking of time-reversal mirrors in locating seismic sources

Weiping Cao, Sherif M. Hanafy, Gerard T. Schuster, Ge Zhan, Chaiwoot Boonyasiriwat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Time reversal mirrors can be used to backpropagate and refocus incident wavefields to their actual source location, with the subsequent benefits of imaging with high-resolution and super-stacking properties. These benefits of time reversal mirrors have been previously verified with computer simulations and laboratory experiments but not with exploration-scale seismic data. We now demonstrate the high-resolution and the super-stacking properties in locating seismic sources with field seismic data that include multiple scattering. Tests on both synthetic data and field data show that a time reversal mirror has the potential to exceed the Rayleigh resolution limit by factors of 4 or more. Results also show that a time reversal mirror has a significant resilience to strong Gaussian noise and that accurate imaging of source locations from passive seismic data can be accomplished with traces having signal-to-noise ratios as low as 0.001. Synthetic tests also demonstrate that time reversal mirrors can sometimes enhance the signal by a factor proportional to the square root of the product of the number of traces, denoted as N and the number of events in the traces. This enhancement property is denoted as super-stacking and greatly exceeds the classical signal-to-noise enhancement factor of. High-resolution and super-stacking are properties also enjoyed by seismic interferometry and reverse-time migration with the exact velocity model. © 2011 European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalGeophysical Prospecting
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 8 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics


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