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3D P-wave traveltime computation in transversely isotropic media using layer-by-layer wavefront marchingNormal access

Authors: J. Hu, J. Cao, H. Wang, X. Wang and R. Tian
Journal name: Geophysical Prospecting
Issue: Vol 66, No 7, September 2018 pp. 1303 - 1314
DOI: 10.1111/1365-2478.12649
Organisations: Wiley
Language: English
Info: Article, PDF ( 3.63Mb )

Subsurface rocks (e.g. shale) may induce seismic anisotropy, such as transverse isotropy. Traveltime computation is an essential component of depth imaging and tomography in transversely isotropic media. It is natural to compute the traveltime using the wavefront marching method. However, tracking the 3D wavefront is expensive, especially in anisotropic media. Besides, the wavefront marching method usually computes the traveltime using the eikonal equation. However, the anisotropic eikonal equation is highly non-linear and it is challenging to solve. To address these issues, we present a layer-by-layer wavefront marching method to compute the P-wave traveltime in 3D transversely isotropic media. To simplify the wavefront tracking, it uses the traveltime of the previous depth as the boundary condition to compute that of the next depth based on the wavefront marching. A strategy of traveltime computation is designed to guarantee the causality of wave propagation. To avoid solving the non-linear eikonal equation, it updates traveltime along the expanding wavefront by Fermat’s principle. To compute the traveltime using Fermat’s principle, an approximate group velocity with high accuracy in transversely isotropic media is adopted to describe the ray propagation. Numerical examples on 3D vertical transverse isotropy and tilted transverse isotropy models show that the proposed method computes the traveltime with high accuracy. It can find applications in modelling and depth migration.

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