Poynting and polarization vectors based wavefield decomposition and their application on elastic reverse time migration in 2D transversely isotropic media

Yongming Lu, Qiancheng Liu, Jianfeng Zhang, Kai Yang, Hui Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


With the progress in computational power and seismic acquisition, elastic reverse time migration is becoming increasingly feasible and helpful in characterizing the physical properties of subsurface structures. To achieve high-resolution seismic imaging using elastic reverse time migration, it is necessary to separate the compressional (P-wave) and shear (S-wave) waves for both isotropic and anisotropic media. In elastic isotropic media, the conventional method for wave-mode separation is to use the divergence and curl operators. However, in anisotropic media, the polarization direction of P waves is not exactly parallel to the direction of wave propagation. Also, the polarization direction of S waves is not totally perpendicular to the direction of wave propagation. For this reason, the conventional divergence and curl operators show poor performance in anisotropic media. Moreover, conventional methods only perform well in the space domain of regular grids, and they are not suitable for elastic numerical simulation algorithms based on non-regular grids. Besides, these methods distort the original wavefield by taking spatial derivatives. In this case, a new anisotropic wave-mode separation scheme is developed using Poynting vectors. This scheme can be performed in the angle domain by constructing the relationship between group and polarization angles of different wave modes. Also, it is performed pointwise, independent of adjacent space points, suitable for parallel computing. Moreover, there is no need to correct the changes in phase and amplitude casued by the derivative operators. By using this scheme, the anisotropic elastic reverse time migration is more efficiently performed on the unstructured mesh. The effectiveness of our scheme is verified by several numerical examples.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1296-1311
Number of pages16
JournalGeophysical Prospecting
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 2 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We thank the National Natural Science Fund of China (under grant 41330316) and the National Major Project of China (under grant 2017ZX05008-007) for supporting this work. We also acknowledge the two reviewers and associate editor Tariq Alkhalifah for reviewing this manuscript and their constructive comments have greatly improved this manuscript. We are grateful to Dr Umair bin Waheed for his kind help. The research is a part of Collaboration Project of Seismic Imaging in Elastic Medium of the China National Petroleum Corporation.


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