Batch seismic inversion using the iterative ensemble Kalman smoother
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionComputational Geosciences. 2021, 25 1105-1121. 10.1007/s10596-021-10043-4
An ensemble-based method for seismic inversion to estimate elastic attributes is considered, namely the iterative ensemble Kalman smoother. The main focus of this work is the challenge associated with ensemble-based inversion of seismic waveform data. The amount of seismic data is large and, depending on ensemble size, it cannot be processed in a single batch. Instead a solution strategy of partitioning the data recordings in time windows and processing these sequentially is suggested. This work demonstrates how this partitioning can be done adaptively, with a focus on reliable and efficient estimation. The adaptivity relies on an analysis of the update direction used in the iterative procedure, and an interpretation of contributions from prior and likelihood to this update. The idea is that these must balance; if the prior dominates, the estimation process is inefficient while the estimation is likely to overfit and diverge if data dominates. Two approaches to meet this balance are formulated and evaluated. One is based on an interpretation of eigenvalue distributions and how this enters and affects weighting of prior and likelihood contributions. The other is based on balancing the norm magnitude of prior and likelihood vector components in the update. Only the latter is found to sufficiently regularize the data window. Although no guarantees for avoiding ensemble divergence are provided in the paper, the results of the adaptive procedure indicate that robust estimation performance can be achieved for ensemble-based inversion of seismic waveform data.