Acoustic wave propagation in tilted transversely isotropic media: Incorporating topography

Jeffrey Shragge

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2016 Society of Exploration Geophysicists.Simulating two-way acoustic wavefield propagation directly from a free-surface boundary in the presence of topography remains a computational challenge for applications of reverse time migration (RTM) or full-waveform inversion (FWI). For land-seismic settings involving heavily reworked geology (e.g., fold and thrust belts), two-way wavefield propagation operators should also handle commonly observed complex anisotropy including tilted transversely isotropic (TTI) media. To address these issues, I have extended a system of coupled partial differential equations used to model 3D acoustic TTI wave propagation in Cartesian coordinates to more generalized 3D geometries, including a deformed computational mesh with a domain boundary conformal to free-surface topography. A generalized curvilinear transformation is used to specify a system of equations governing 3D acoustic TTI wave propagation in the "topographic" coordinate system. The developed finitedifference time-domain numerical solution adapts existing Cartesian TTI operators to this more generalized geometry with little additional computational overhead. Numerical evaluations illustrate that 2D and 3D impulse responses are wellmatched to those simulated on Cartesian meshes and analytic traveltimes for homogeneous elliptical TTI media. Accordingly, these generalized acoustic TTI propagators and their numerical adjoints are useful for undertaking most RTM or FWI applications using computational domains conforming to free-surface topography.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)C265-C278
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


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