Full-wavefield migration: using surface and internal multiples in imaging

M. Davydenko*, D. J. Verschuur

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    75 Citations (Scopus)


    Multiple scattering is usually ignored in migration algorithms, although it is a genuine part of the physical reflection response. When properly included, multiples can add to the illumination of the subsurface, although their crosstalk effects are removed. Therefore, we introduce full-wavefield migration. It includes all multiples and transmission effects in deriving an image via an inversion approach. Since it tries to minimize the misfit between modeled and observed data, it may be considered a full waveform inversion process. However, full-wavefield migration involves a forward modelling process that uses the estimated seismic image (i.e., the reflectivities) to generate the modelled full wavefield response, whereas a smooth migration velocity model can be used to describe the propagation effects. This separation of modelling in terms of scattering and propagation is not easily achievable when finite-difference or finite-element modelling is used. By this separation, a more linear inversion problem is obtained. Moreover, during the forward modelling, the wavefields are computed separately in the incident and scattered directions, which allows the implementation of various imaging conditions, such as imaging reflectors from below, and avoids low-frequency image artefacts, such as typically observed during reverse-time migration. The full wavefield modelling process also has the flexibility to image directly the total data (i.e., primaries and multiples together) or the primaries and the multiples separately. Based on various numerical data examples for the 2D and 3D cases, the advantages of this methodology are demonstrated.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7-21
    Number of pages15
    JournalGeophysical Prospecting
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


    • Full waveform
    • Imaging
    • Inversion
    • Modelling
    • Seismics


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