Wave-equation traveltime inversion

Y. Luo, G. T. Schuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

804 Scopus citations


Presents a new traveltime inversion method based on the wave equation. In this new method, designated as wave-equation traveltime inversion (WT), seismograms are computed by any full-wave forward modeling method (we use a finite-difference method). The velocity model is perturbed until the traveltimes from the synthetic seismograms are best fitted to the observed traveltimes in a least squares sense. A gradient optimization method is used and the formula for the Frechet derivative (perturbation of traveltimes with respect to velocity) is derived directly from the wave equation. Body wave, diffraction, reflection and head wave traveltimes can be incorporated into the inversion. In the high-frequency limit, WT inversion reduces to ray-based traveltime tomography. It can also be shown that WT inversion is approximately equivalent to full-wave inversion when the starting velocity model is "close' to the actual model. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-653
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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