Summary We present methods for obtaining numerical and analytic solutions of the complex eikonal equation in inhomogeneous acoustic VTI media (transversely isotropic media with a vertical symmetry axis). The key and novel point of the method for obtaining numerical solutions is to transform the problem of solving the highly nonlinear acoustic VTI eikonal equation into one of solving the relatively simple eikonal equation for the background (isotropic) medium and a system of linear partial differential equations. Specifically, to obtain the real and imaginary parts of the complex traveltime in inhomogeneous acoustic VTI media, we generalize a perturbation theory, which was developed earlier for solving the conventional real eikonal equation in inhomogeneous anisotropic media, to the complex eikonal equation in such media. After the perturbation analysis, we obtain two types of equations. One is the complex eikonal equation for the background medium and the other is a system of linearized partial differential equations for the coefficients of the corresponding complex traveltime formulas. To solve the complex eikonal equation for the background medium, we employ an optimization scheme that we developed for solving the complex eikonal equation in isotropic media. Then, to solve the system of linearized partial differential equations for the coefficients of the complex traveltime formulas, we use the finite difference method based on the fast marching strategy. Furthermore, by applying the complex source point method and the paraxial approximation, we develop the analytic solutions of the complex eikonal equation in acoustic VTI media, both for the isotropic and elliptical anisotropic background medium. Our numerical results demonstrate the effectiveness of our derivations and illustrate the influence of the beam widths and the anisotropic parameters on the complex traveltimes. Numerical solutions, Complex eikonal equation, Complex traveltime, Seismic anisotropy, Computational seismology, Wave propagation © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society.
Geophysical Journal International – Oxford University Press
Published: Apr 19, 2018
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