Wave-equation dispersion inversion of Love waves

Jing Li, Sherif Hanafy, Zhaolun Liu, Gerard T. Schuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


We present a theory for wave-equation inversion of Love-wave dispersion curves, in which the misfit function is the sum of the squared differences between the wavenumbers along the predicted and observed dispersion curves. Similar to inversion of Rayleigh-wave dispersion curves, the complicated Love-wave arrivals in traces are skeletonized as simpler data, namely, the picked dispersion curves in the [Formula: see text] domain. Numerical solutions to the SH-wave equation and an iterative optimization method are then used to invert these dispersion curves for the S-wave velocity model. This procedure, denoted as wave-equation dispersion inversion of Love waves (LWD), does not require the assumption of a layered model or smooth velocity variations, and it is less prone to the cycle-skipping problems of full-waveform inversion. We demonstrate with synthetic and field data examples that LWD can accurately reconstruct the S-wave velocity distribution in a laterally heterogeneous medium. Compared with Rayleigh waves, inversion of the Love-wave dispersion curves empirically exhibits better convergence properties because they are completely insensitive to the P-velocity variations. In addition, Love-wave dispersion curves for our examples are simpler than those for Rayleigh waves, and they are easier to pick in our field data with a low signal-to-noise ratio.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R693-R705
Number of pages1
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 8 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We thank the financial support from the sponsors of the Consortium of Subsurface Imaging and Fluid Modeling (CSIM). We thank KAUST for funding this research. This work is supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (41874134) and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation 2106T902503 and 2015M571366. We are also grateful to the editor Dr. John Etgen, the associate editor Dr. S. Operto, and three anonymous reviewers for constructive comments and suggestions.


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