Weglein’s ‘antidote’ to full waveform inversion

M-OSRP head rails against ‘full waveform inversion’ announcement from SEG.

In a preamble to his presentation of a ‘timely and necessary antidote to indirect methods and so-called full waveform inversion,’ Art Weglein, who heads-up the University of Houston’s ‘Mission-oriented seismic research program (M-OSRP) railed against the ‘latest geophysical stampede, technical bubble and self-proclaimed seismic cure-all’ that is full wave-form inversion (FWI).

A recent announcement for the upcoming 2013 SEG Workshop on FWI opened with the line, ‘full waveform inversion has emerged as the final and ultimate solution to the earth resolution and imaging objective.’ For Weglein, such language ‘has no place anywhere in science, especially in exploration seismology.’

The method, from both a fundamental viewpoint and from practical considerations, ‘hardly deserves the label inversion,’ let alone such ‘extreme and unjustified claims.’ Weglein believes that the ‘FWI’ issue is not just a matter of semantics. It is a ‘substantive issue of what data, and what algorithms are called for by direct inversion to achieve certain seismic processing objectives.’

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