Acoustic approximations for processing in transversely isotropic media

Tariq Alkhalifa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

499 Scopus citations


When transversely isotropic (VTI) media with vertical symmetry axes are characterized using the zero-dip normal moveout (NMO) velocity [Vnmo(0)] and the anisotropy parameter η instead of Thomsen's parameters, time-related processing [moveout correction, dip moveout (DMO), and time migration] become nearly independent of the vertical P- and S-wave velocities (VP0 and VS0, respectively). The independence on VP0 and VS0 is well within the limits of seismic accuracy, even for relatively strong anisotropy. The dependency on VP0 and VS0 reduces even further as the ratio VS0/VP0 decreases. In fact, for VS0 = 0, all time-related processing depends exactly on only Vnmo(0) and η. This fortunate dependence on two parameters is demonstrated here through analytical derivations of time-related processing equations in terms of Vnmo(0) and η. The time-migration dispersion relation, the NMO velocity for dipping events, and the ray-tracing equations extracted by setting VS0 = 0 (i.e., by considering VTI as acoustic) not only depend solely on Vnmo(0) and η but are much simpler than the counterpart expressions for elastic media. Errors attributed to this use of the acoustic assumption are small and may be neglected. Therefore, as in isotropic media, the acoustic model arising from setting VS0 = 0, although not exactly true for VTI media, can serve as a useful approximation to the elastic model for the kinematics of P-wave data. This approximation can boost the efficiency of imaging and DMO programs for VTI media as well as simplify their description.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)623-631
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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