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Lecture14 Velocity

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Velocity Analysis

Controls on velocity in the earth

Types of velocities

Normal moveout corrections

Departures from NMO

Calculating coherency

Stacking

Velocity Analysis

The main goal of velocity analysis in reection seismology: nd

velocities that atten reections for the best possible imaging

Performed on common midpoint gathers

What controls seismic velocity?

Porosity (depths < 10 km)

Temperature (~0.4-0.56 m/s/C)

Pressure (~0.2 x 10

-3

km/s/MPa)

Composition

Typical velocity of water is ~1.5 km/s

Average continental crust 6.45 km/s

Typical mantle velocity ~8 km/s

Carlson & Gangi, 1985; Christensen & Mooney, 1995; Korenaga et al., 2002

Velocity increases with depth in

sedimentary rocks

Closure of porosity is the dominant control on changes in

velocity with depth in the sediments.

Velocity and overpressure

Increases in pore

pressure cause

decreases in

effective pressure

and in seismic

velocity

Example from the

Black Sea

!"#$ &' ()*+ ,-.+ /001

Variations in porosity

and velocity with depth

O

D

P

L

e

g

2

1

0

S

h

i

p

b

o

a

r

d

S

c

i

e

n

t

i

c

P

a

r

t

y

,

2

0

0

4

increases in overburden and

compaction

Empirical relationship between depth

and porosity: Athys Law

Relationship between porosity and

velocity:

where V

M

is measured velocity, V

F

is velocity of

pore uid, V

R

is the velocity of the matrix and

! is the volumetric porosity.

Christensen & Mooney (1995)

Composition

and velocity for

crustal and

mantle rocks

Vp decreases with SiO

2

Vp increases with MgO

Effect of

pressure and

temperature on

seismic velocity

Modied from Rudnick and Fountain 1995

competing effects of

increasing

temperature and

increasing pressure

with depth

velocity goes down

with increasing

temperature, but up

with increasing

pressure

Average velocity structure of oceanic crust

Zero-incidence travel times for one layer

For a vertically incident

reection from an

interface at a depth (h)

overlain by a constant

velocity layer (v), the

expected two-way travel

time (t

0

) is:

Normal moveout (NMO): changes in travel time as a function of

offset between the source and receiver.

Generalizing zero-incidence relationship for other source-

receiver offsets:

Normal moveout for one layer

Squaring and substituting

equation for t

0

Normal moveout for one layer

2

'

0

'

3

Original

reection

Good NMO

correction

Overcorrected:

Velocity too low

Undercorrected:

Velocity too high

45)6(7+ /008

Normal moveout for multiple layers

Travel times of arrivals in stratied earth are dependent on

the thickness and velocity of all of the layers they travel

through

where C

2

, C

3

, etc are complicated functions of velocity and layer

thickness and

i

is the vertically incident travel time through the i

th

layer, and t

0

is the sum of the

i

small compared to depth), we obtain the hyperbolic

form:

However, this equation does not do well at large

source-receiver offsets when small spread

approximation does not apply

Normal moveout for multiple layers

Departures from NMO

Interfaces with dips or other complexities

Laterally variable velocity over small distances

Anisotropy

Effect of one dipping bed on NMO

Effect of multiple beds with

arbitrary dips

If layer dips are gentle and

the spread is small, can

assume at dips and use the

simpler expression for NMO.

45)6(7+ /008

Anisotropy

Haase, CSEG Recorder, 2001

Transverse anisotropy is common in sediments due to layering. Seismic

waves usually travel faster parallel to bedding than across it

The angle at which the seismic wave is traveling through the subsurface

changes with increasing offset, so that long-offset arrivals are seeing

higher velocities

In NMO corrected CMP-gathers, this appears as a hockey stick

Velocity analysis

A number of methods developed to estimate

NMO velocities:

1. Line tting in t

2

-x

2

domain

2. Constant velocity moveouts and stacks

3. Velocity spectrum

Constant velocity moveouts

Choose range of moveout velocities that encompasses

reasonable possibilities

45)6(7+ /008

Constant velocity stacks

Select velocities that yield most coherent and strong

stacked events for each depth interval

Constant velocity approaches good in areas with

complex structure

45)6(7+ /008

Constant velocity stacks

(continued)

45)6(7+ /008

Velocity spectrum

Velocity spectra are a way to effectively transform data from x-t

domain to v

stk

-t domain and pick velocities. Several approaches

developed for this.

9

:

;

<

(

'

=

&

>

?

&

)

#

"

5

'

@

!

A

&

"

'

>

B

6

45)6(7+ /008

Stacked amplitude: Apply normal moveout and stack

gather for a range of stacking velocities:

where M is the number of traces, f is the amplitude

value of the i

th

trace at two way travel time of t(i)

along a hyperbola associated with trial velocity v

stk

Velocity spectrum

Velocity spectrum

Normalized stacked amplitude: Apply normal moveout

and stack gather for a range of NMO velocities:

where M is the number of traces, f is the amplitude value of

the i

th

trace at two way travel time of t(i) along a hyperbola

associated with trial velocity v

stk

. Sensitive to trace polarity.

Velocity spectrum

Unnormalized cross correlation sum: Cross

correlation across CMP for trial velocity within a time gate.

Can be interpreted as half the difference between the output

energy of the stack and input energy

Other related options: Normalized cross-correlation

sum and energy-normalized cross-correlation. These bring out

weak events on the velocity spectrum

Velocity spectrum

Semblance: normalized output-to-input energy ratio. Varies

from 0 to 1. Semblance (or coherency) = Total energy in the

stack in a time window/ Sum of energy in the traces in time

window

Practical considerations for

velocity analysis

Peaks in the velocity spectrum are not always the correct

stacking velocity for a particular time examine which

events are attened to assess which velocity is best

Multiples, peg-legs and other arrivals commonly cause

peaks in velocity spectra at lower velocities. Best to err

on the high side.

Pay attention to vertical and lateral variations in velocity

45)6(7+ /008

45)6(7+ /008

Chopra and Hoffman, 2006

Stacking velocities along a prole

Chopra and Hoffman, 2006

Other factors affecting velocity analysis

Cable length, high velocities, deep

reectors: longer source-receiver offsets

enable more accurate velocity picking to

greater depths and of layers with higher

velocities

Bandwidth: Higher frequency wavelets

enable higher resolution velocity picking.

Noise

Fold

Supergathers

Combine adjacent CMPs to create supergathers

to increase number of traces included in

spectrum calculation.

Interval velocities

The interval velocity for a particular horizon can be

estimated from the stacking velocities using Dix

equation:

where v

n

and v

n-1

are stacking velocities at the layer

boundaries n and n-1

Stacking velocities versus real

velocities

Stacking velocities are optimized for imaging

purposes, and interval velocities derived from

them may differ from real velocities

Other methods of extracting velocity

information from prestack MCS data:

Tomography

Waveform inversion

NMO stretching

Frequency distortion occurs as a result of NMO

correction, particularly at shallow depths and large

source-receiver offsets

45)6(7+ /008

45)6(7+ /008

Frequency distortion

expressed as:

where f is the dominant

frequency

NMO stretching

NMO Stretch Mute

To remove sections that are badly affected by NMO

stretching, a stretch mute is applied

Can be specied in terms of the % stretch mute.

A typical stretch limit is ~100%

A smaller stretch limit can be used if the signal to noise

ratio is very good to preserve the original bandwidth

A larger stretch limit may be appropriate if signal-to-noise

ratio is higher

Can also be picked manually

Stacking

1. Simple mean amplitude stack: Sum amplitudes at all

times and take the mean

2. Weighted stack: Weight certain offsets more than

others

3. Median stack: Use median rather than mean.

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