Finite-difference solution of the eikonal equation along expanding wavefronts

Fuhao Qin*, Yi Luo, Kim Olsen, Wenying Cai, Gerard Schuster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

277 Scopus citations


We show that a scheme to solve the 2-D eikonal equation by a finite-difference method can violate causality for moderate to large velocity contrasts (V2/V1>√2). As an alternative, we present a finite-difference scheme in which the solution region progresses outward from an ``expanding wavefront'' rather than an ``expanding square,'' and therefore honors causality. Our method appears to be stable and reasonably accurate for a variety of velocity models with moderate to large velocity contrasts. The penalty is a large increase in computational cost and programming effort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-487
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics


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