Complex-valued Imaging with Total Variation Regularization: An Application to Full-Waveform Inversion in Visco-acoustic Media

30 Jul 2020  ·  Hossein S. Aghamiry, Ali Gholami, Stephane Operto ·

Full waveform inversion (FWI) is a nonlinear PDE constrained optimization problem, which seeks to estimate constitutive parameters of a medium such as phase velocity, density, and anisotropy, by fitting waveforms. Attenuation is an additional parameter that needs to be taken into account in viscous media to exploit the full potential of FWI. Attenuation is more easily implemented in the frequency domain by using complex-valued velocities in the time-harmonic wave equation. These complex velocities are frequency-dependent to guarantee causality and account for dispersion. Since estimating a complex frequency-dependent velocity at each grid point in space is not realistic, the optimization is generally performed in the real domain by processing the phase velocity (or slowness) at a reference frequency and attenuation (or quality factor) as separate real parameters. This real parametrization requires an a priori empirical relation (such as the nonlinear Kolsky-Futterman (KF) or standard linear solid (SLS) attenuation models) between the complex velocity and the two real quantities, which is prone to generate modeling errors if it does not represent accurately the attenuation behavior of the subsurface. Moreover, it leads to a multivariate inverse problem, which is twice larger than the actual size of the medium and ill-posed due to the cross-talk between the two classes of real parameters. To alleviate these issues, we present a mono-variate algorithm that solves directly the optimization problem in the complex domain by processing in sequence narrow bands of frequencies under the assumption of band-wise frequency dependence of the sought complex velocities.

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