Exploring seismic inversion methodologies for non-stationary geological environments: a benchmark study between deterministic and geostatistical seismic inversion

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Abstract

This paper presents a comparison between subsurface impedance models derived from different deterministic and geostatistical seismic inversion methodologies applied to a challenging synthetic dataset. Geostatistical seismic inversion methodologies nowadays are common place in both industry and academia, contrasting with traditional deterministic seismic inversion methodologies that are becoming less used as part of the geo-modelling workflow. While the first set of techniques allows the simultaneous inference of the best-fit inverse model along with the spatial uncertainty of the subsurface elastic property of interest, the second family of inverse methodology has proven results in correctly predicting the subsurface elastic properties of interest with comparatively less computational cost. We present herein the results of a benchmark study performed over a realistic three-dimensional non-stationary synthetic dataset in order to assess the performance and convergence of different deterministic and geostatistical seismic inverse methodologies. We also compare and discuss the impact of the inversion parameterisation over the exploration of the model parameter space. The results show that the chosen seismic inversion methodology should always be dependent on the type and quantity of the available data, both seismic and well-log, and the complexity of the geological environment versus the assumptions behind each inversion technique. The assessment of the model parameter space shows that the initial guess of traditional deterministic seismic inversion methodologies is of high importance since it will determine the location of the best-fit inverse solution.

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