Near-Surface 2D Imaging via FWI of DAS Data: An Examination on the Impacts of FWI Starting Model


Full waveform inversion (FWI) and distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) are powerful tools with potential to improve how seismic site characterization is performed. FWI is able to provide true 2D or 3D images of the subsurface by inverting stress wave recordings collected over a wide variety of scales. DAS can be used to efficiently collect high-resolution stress wave recordings from long and complex fiber optic arrays and is well-suited for large-scale site characterization projects. Due to the relative novelty of combining FWI and DAS, there is presently little published literature regarding the application of FWI to DAS data for near-surface (depths <30 m) site characterization. We perform 2D FWI on DAS data collected at a well-characterized site using four different, site-specific 1D and 2D starting models. We discuss the unique benefits and challenges associated with inverting DAS data compared to traditional geophone data. We examine the impacts of using the various starting models on the final 2D subsurface images. We demonstrate that while the inversions performed using all four starting models are able to fit the major features of the DAS waveforms with similar misfit values, the final subsurface images can be quite different from one another at depths greater than about 10 m. As such, the best representation(s) of the subsurface are evaluated based on: (1) their agreement with borehole lithology logs that were not used in the development of the starting models, and (2) consistency at shallow depths between the final inverted images derived from multiple starting models. Our results demonstrate that FWI applied to DAS data has significant potential as a tool for near-surface site characterization while also emphasizing the significant impact that starting model selection can have on FWI results.



DAS, FWI, near-surface site characterization


Yust, M.B.S.; Cox, B.R.; Vantassel, J.P.; Hubbard, P.G.; Boehm, C.; Krischer, L. Near-Surface 2D Imaging via FWI of DAS Data: An Examination on the Impacts of FWI Starting Model. Geosciences 2023, 13, 63.