Resolution limits of migration and linearized waveform inversion images in a lossy medium

Gerard T. Schuster, Gaurav Dutta, Jing Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The vertical-and horizontal-resolution limits Delta x(lossy) and Delta z(lossy) of post-stack migration and linearized waveform inversion images are derived for lossy data in the far-field approximation. Unlike the horizontal resolution limit Delta x proportional to lambda z/L in a lossless medium which linearly worsens in depth z, Delta x(lossy) proportional to z(2)/QL worsens quadratically with depth for a medium with small Q values. Here, Q is the quality factor, lambda is the effective wavelength, L is the recording aperture, and loss in the resolution formulae is accounted for by replacing lambda with z/Q. In contrast, the lossy vertical-resolution limit Delta z(lossy) only worsens linearly in depth compared to Delta z proportional to lambda for a lossless medium. For both the causal and acausal Q models, the resolution limits are linearly proportional to 1/Q for small Q. These theoretical predictions are validated with migration images computed from lossy data.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1612-1621
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 14 2017


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