Robust Joint Inversion and Segmentation of 4D Seismic Data

Juan Romero*, Matteo Ravasi, Nick Luiken

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Seismic inversion is the leading method to map and quantify changes from time-lapse (4D) seismic datasets, with applications ranging from monitoring of hydrocarbon-producing fields to carbon capture and sequestration. Time-lapse seismic inversion is however, a notoriously ill-posed inverse problem: the band-limited nature of seismic data, alongside inaccuracies in the repeatability of consecutive acquisition surveys make it challenging to obtain high-resolution, clean estimates of 4D effects. Adding prior information to the inversion process in the form of properly crafted regularization (or preconditioning) is therefore essential to successfully extract weak signals that are usually buried under strong noise. In this work, we leverage the fact that 4D seismic inversion can be described as a coupled inversion of its baseline and monitor 3D seismic datasets. In existing approaches, the coupling is introduced by penalizing the squared L2-norm of difference between the baseline and the monitor acoustic impedances, as this is usually assumed to be small. A major downside of such a regularization is that, whilst reducing the overall level of noise in the estimated acoustic impedance differences, the resulting 4D effects are usually oversmoothed and their strength is underestimated. We instead propose to adapt the joint inversion and segmentation algorithm introduced by Ravasi and Birnie (2021) to the problem of 4D seismic inversion. Our technique produces two acoustic impedance models by inverting the corresponding 3D seismic datasets, regularized by Total-Variation. Moreover, the objective function to optimize is augmented with a segmentation term that renders solutions consistent with the expected 4D effects (obtained, for example, as part of a 4D feasibility study by means of Gassmann fluid substitution). A numerical experiment is presented to validate the effectiveness of the proposed approach and its superiority over state-of-the-art 4D inversion methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages5
StatePublished - Aug 15 2022
Event2nd International Meeting for Applied Geoscience and Energy, IMAGE 2022 - Houston, United States
Duration: Aug 28 2022Sep 1 2022


Conference2nd International Meeting for Applied Geoscience and Energy, IMAGE 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geophysics


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