Automated seismic acquisition geometry design for optimized illumination at the target: a linearized approach

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In seismic exploration methods, imperfect spatial sampling at the surface causes a lack of illumination at the target in the subsurface. The hampered image quality at the target area of interest causes uncertainties in reservoir monitoring and production, which can have a substantial economic impact. Especially in the case of a complex overburden, the impact of surface sampling on target illumination can be significant. The target-oriented acquisition analysis based on wavefield propagation and a known velocity model has been used to provide guidance for optimizing the acquisition parameters. Seismic acquisition design is usually a manual optimization process, with consideration of many aspects. In this study, we develop a methodology that automatically optimizes an irregular receiver geometry when the source geometry is fixed or vice versa. The methodology includes objective functions defined by two criteria: optimizing the image resolution and optimizing the angle-dependent illumination information. We use a two-step parameterization in order to make the problem more linear and, thereby, solve the acquisition design problem by using a gradient descent algorithm. With simple and complex velocity models, we demonstrate that the proposed method is effective, while the involved computational cost is acceptable. Interestingly, the optimization results in our examples show that the conventional uniform geometry already satisfies the resolution requirement, while optimizing for angle coverage can provide a large uplift and is strongly dependent on the velocity model.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Acoustic beams
  • Analytical models
  • Computational modeling
  • computational seismology
  • controlled source seismology
  • Geometry
  • image processing
  • inverse theory
  • Lighting
  • Mathematical models
  • Receivers
  • seismic instruments


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