An iterative fast sweeping based eikonal solver for tilted orthorhombic media

Umair bin Waheed, Can Evren Yarman, Garret Flagg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

17 Scopus citations


Computing first-arrival traveltimes of quasi-P waves in the presence of anisotropy is important for high-end near-surface modeling, microseismic-source localization, and fractured-reservoir characterization, and requires solving an anisotropic eikonal equation. Anisotropy deviating from elliptical anisotropy introduces higher-order nonlinearity into the eikonal equation, which makes solving the eikonal equation a challenge. We address this challenge by iteratively solving a sequence of simpler tilted elliptically anisotropic eikonal equations. At each iteration, the source function is updated to capture the effects of the higher order nonlinear terms. We use Aitken extrapolation to speed up the convergence rate of the iterative algorithm. The result is an algorithm for first-arrival traveltime computations in tilted anisotropic media. We demonstrate our method on tilted transversely isotropic media and tilted orthorhombic media. Our numerical tests demonstrate that the proposed method can match the first arrivals obtained by wavefield extrapolation, even for strong anisotropy and complex structures. Therefore, for the cases where oneor two-point ray tracing fails, our method may be a potential substitute for computing traveltimes. Our approach can be extended to anisotropic media with lower symmetries, such as monoclinic or even triclinic media.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSEG Technical Program Expanded Abstracts 2014
PublisherSociety of Exploration Geophysicists
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Aug 5 2014

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01


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