Passive body-wave interferometric imaging with directionally constrained migration

Carlos Almagro Vidal, Joost van der Neut, Arie Verdel, Iris Hartstra, Kees Wapenaar

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Passive seismic interferometry enables the estimation of the reflection response of the subsurface using passive receiver recordings at the surface from sources located deep in the Earth. Interferometric imaging makes use of this retrieved reflection response in order to study the subsurface. Successful interferometric imaging relies on the availability of passive recordings from sufficient sources in the subsurface. Ideally, these sources should be homogeneously distributed, which is unlikely to happen in practical applications. Incomplete source distributions result in the retrieval of inaccurate reflection responses, containing artefacts which can disturb the interferometric imaging process. We propose an alternative imaging method for passive data based on illumination diagnosis and directionally constrained migration. In this method, passive responses from single transient sources are cross-correlated individually, and the dominant radiation direction from each virtual source is estimated. The correlated responses are imaged individually, thereby limiting the source wavefield to the dominant radiation direction of the virtual source. This constraint enables the construction of accurate images from individual sources with a significantly reduced amount of migrated interferometric artefacts. We also show that the summation of all individual imaging results improves the subsurface image by constructive interference, while migrated crosstalk and artefacts experience cancellation. This process, called Image Interferometry, shows that in case of limited subsurface illumination the interferometric integration can be applied in the image domain rather than in the virtual reflection-response domain, thus eliminating the need for the retrieval of the reflection response as an intermediate step.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1022-1036
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Seismic Interferometry
  • Body waves
  • Crustal imaging


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