Parameterization analysis and inversion for orthorhombic media

  • Nabil Masmoudi

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Accounting for azimuthal anisotropy is necessary for the processing and inversion of wide-azimuth and wide-aperture seismic data because wave speeds naturally depend on the wave propagation direction. Orthorhombic anisotropy is considered the most effective anisotropic model that approximates the azimuthal anisotropy we observe in seismic data. In the framework of full wave form inversion (FWI), the large number of parameters describing orthorhombic media exerts a considerable trade-off and increases the non-linearity of the inversion problem. Choosing a suitable parameterization for the model, and identifying which parameters in that parameterization could be well resolved, are essential to a successful inversion. In this thesis, I derive the radiation patterns for different acoustic orthorhombic parameterization. Analyzing the angular dependence of the scattering of the parameters of different parameterizations starting with the conventionally used notation, I assess the potential trade-off between the parameters and the resolution in describing the data and inverting for the parameters. In order to build practical inversion strategies, I suggest new parameters (called deviation parameters) for a new parameterization style in orthorhombic media. The novel parameters denoted ∈d, ƞd and δd are dimensionless and represent a measure of deviation between the vertical planes in orthorhombic anisotropy. The main feature of the deviation parameters consists of keeping the scattering of the vertical transversely isotropic (VTI) parameters stationary with azimuth. Using these scattering features, we can condition FWI to invert for the parameters which the data are sensitive to, at different stages, scales, and locations in the model. With this parameterization, the data are mainly sensitive to the scattering of 3 parameters (out of six that describe an acoustic orthorhombic medium): the horizontal velocity in the x1 direction, ∈1 which provides scattering mainly near the zero offset in the x1-x3 vertical plane, and ∈d, which is the ratio of the horizontal velocity squared in the x1 and x2 direction. Since, with this parameterization, the radiation pattern for the horizontal velocity is azimuth independent, we can perform an initial VTI inversion for two parameters (velocity and ∈1), then use ∈d to fit the azimuth variation in the data. This can be done at the reservoir level or any region of the model.
Date of AwardMay 2018
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorTariq Ali Alkhalifah (Supervisor)


  • Seismic
  • Ezthorhombic
  • Full Waveform Inversion
  • parameterization
  • Anisotropy
  • Fractures

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