The scattering potential of partial derivative wavefields in 3-D elastic orthorhombic media: an inversion prospective

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27 Scopus citations


Multiparameter full waveform inversion (FWI) applied to an elastic orthorhombic model description of the subsurface requires in theory a nine-parameter representation of each pixel of the model. Even with optimal acquisition on the Earth surface that includes large offsets, full azimuth, and multicomponent sensors, the potential for trade-off between the elastic orthorhombic parameters are large. The first step to understanding such trade-off is analysing the scattering potential of each parameter, and specifically, its scattering radiation patterns. We investigate such radiation patterns for diffraction and for scattering from a horizontal reflector considering a background isotropic model. The radiation patterns show considerable potential for trade-off between the parameters and the potentially limited resolution in their recovery. The radiation patterns of C11, C22, and C33 are well separated so that we expect to recover these parameters with limited trade-offs. However, the resolution of their recovery represented by recovered range of model wavenumbers varies between these parameters. We can only invert for the short wavelength components (reflection) of C33 while we can mainly invert for the long wavelength components (transmission) of the elastic coefficients C11 and C22 if we have large enough offsets. The elastic coefficients C13, C23, and C12 suffer from strong trade-offs with C55, C44, and C66, respectively. The trade-offs between C13 and C55, as well as C23 and C44, can be partially mitigated if we acquire P–SV and SV–SV waves. However, to reduce the trade-offs between C12 and C66, we require credible SH–SH waves. The analytical radiation patterns of the elastic constants are supported by numerical gradients of these parameters.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1740-1760
Number of pages21
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 4 2016

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: Research reported in this publication was supported by competitive research funding from King Abdullah University of Science and
Technology (KAUST). For computer time, this research used the resources of the Supercomputing Laboratory at King Abdullah University of
Science & Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. We would like to thank the reviewer Shohei Minato and an anonymous reviewer,
as well as the editor Randy Keller for their fruitful and constructive comments to improve the paper. We also thank the members of Seismic
Wave Analysis Group (SWAG) in KAUST for the helpful discussion.


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