Description: Inversion of head wave arrival times for three-dimensional (3D) planar structure is formulated as a constrained parameter optimization problem, and solved via linear programming techniques. The earth model is characterized by a set of homogeneous and isotropic layers bounded by plane, dipping interfaces. Each interface may possess arbitrary strike and dip. Predicted data consists of traveltimes of critically refracted waves formed on the plane interfaces of the model. The nonlinear inversion procedure is iterative; an initial estimate of the earth model is refined until an acceptable match is obtained between observed and predicted data. Inclusion of a priori constraint information, in the form of inequality relations satisfied by the model parameters, assists the algorithm in converging toward a realistic solution. Although the 3D earth model adopted for the inversion procedure is simple, the algorithm is quite useful in two particular contexts: (i) it can provide an initial model estimate suitable for subsequent improvement by more general techniques (i.e., traveltime tomography), and (ii) it is an effective analysis tool for investigating the power of areal recording geometries for detecting and resolving 3D dipping planar structure.
Date: March 31, 1999
Creator: Aldridge, D.F. & Oldenburg, D.W.
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