A new paper is added to the collection of reproducible documents: A probabilistic approach to seismic diffraction imaging

We propose and demonstrate a probabilistic method for imaging seismic diffractions based on path-integral imaging. Our approach utilizes oriented velocity continuation to produce a set of slope-decomposed diffraction images over a range of plausible migration velocities. Utilizing the assumption that each partial image in slope is independent enables us to construct an object resembling a probability field from the slope-decomposed images. That field may be used to create weights for each partial image in velocity corresponding to the likelihood of a correctly migrated diffraction occurring at a location within the seismic image for that migration velocity. Stacking these weighted partial images over velocity provides us with a path-integral seismic diffraction image created using probability weights. We illustrate the principles of the method on a simple toy model, show its robustness to noise on a synthetic, and apply it to a 2D field dataset from the Nankai Trough. We find that using the proposed approach creates diffraction images that enhance diffraction signal while suppressing noise, migration artifacts, remnant reflections, and other portions of the wavefield not corresponding to seismic diffraction relative to previously developed diffraction imaging methods, while simultaneously outputting the most likely migration velocity. The method is intended to be used on data which has already had much of the reflection energy removed using a method like plane-wave destruction. Although it suppresses residual reflection energy successfully, this suppression is less effective in the presence of strong reflections typically encountered in complete field data. The approach outlined in this paper is complimentary to existing data domain methods for diffraction extraction, and the probabilistic diffraction images it generates can supplement existing reflection and diffraction imaging methods by highlighting features that have a high likelihood of being diffractions and accentuating the geologically interesting objects in the subsurface that cause those features.