Geostatistical inversion of seismic and ground-penetrating radar reflection images: What can we actually resolve?



[1] Estimation of the spatial statistics of subsurface velocity heterogeneity from surface-based geophysical reflection survey data is a problem of significant interest in seismic and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) research. A method to effectively address this problem has been recently presented, but our knowledge regarding the resolution of the estimated parameters is still inadequate. Here we examine this issue using an analytical approach that is based on the realistic assumption that the subsurface velocity structure can be characterized as a band-limited scale-invariant medium. Our work importantly confirms recent numerical findings that the inversion of seismic or GPR reflection data for the geostatistical properties of the probed subsurface region is sensitive to the aspect ratio of the velocity heterogeneity and to the decay of its power spectrum, but not to the individual values of the horizontal and vertical correlation lengths.