Target-oriented least-squares reverse-time migration using Marchenko double-focusing: reducing the artefacts caused by overburden multiples

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Geophysicists have widely used least-squares reverse-time migration (LSRTM) to obtain high-resolution images of the subsurface. However, LSRTM is computationally expensive and it can suffer from multiple reflections. Recently, a target-oriented approach to LSRTM has been proposed, which focuses the wavefield above the target of interest. Remarkably, this approach can be helpful for imaging below complex overburdens and subsalt domains. Moreover, this approach can significantly reduce the computational burden of the problem by limiting the computational domain to a smaller area. Nevertheless, target-oriented LSRTM still needs an accurate velocity model of the overburden to focus the wavefield accurately and predict internal multiple reflections correctly. A viable alternative to an accurate velocity model for internal multiple prediction is Marchenko redatuming. This method is a novel data-driven method that can predict Green's functions at any arbitrary depth, including all orders of multiples. The only requirement for this method is a smooth background velocity model of the overburden. Moreover, with Marchenko double-focusing, one can make virtual sources and receivers at a boundary above the target and bypass the overburden. This paper proposes a new algorithm for target-oriented LSRTM, which fits the Marchenko double-focused data with predicted data. The predicted data of the proposed method is modelled by a virtual source term created by Marchenko double-focusing on a boundary above the target of interest. This virtual source term includes all the interactions between the target and the overburden. Moreover, the Marchenko double-focused data and the virtual source term are free of multiples generated in the overburden. Consequently, our target-oriented LSRTM algorithm suppresses the multiples purely generated inside the overburden. Our algorithm correctly accounts for all orders of multiples caused by the interactions between the target and the overburden, resulting in a significant reduction of the artefacts caused by the overburden internal multiple reflections and improves amplitude recovery in the target image compared to conventional LSRTM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-32
Number of pages20
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Inverse theory
  • Numerical modelling
  • Acoustic properties
  • Controlled source seismology
  • Wave scattering and diffraction


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