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Accurate 3-D finite difference computation of traveltimes in strongly heterogeneous media

Abstract : Seismic traveltimes and their spatial derivatives are the basis of many imaging methods such as pre-stack depth migration and tomography. A common approach to compute these quantities is to solve the eikonal equation with a finite-difference scheme. If many recently published algorithms for resolving the eikonal equation do now yield fairly accurate traveltimes for most applications, the spatial derivatives of traveltimes remain very approximate. To address this accuracy issue, we develop a new hybrid eikonal solver that combines a spherical approximation when close to the source and a plane wave approximation when far away. This algorithm reproduces properly the spherical behaviour of wave fronts in the vicinity of the source. We implement a combination of 16 local operators that enables us to handle velocity models with sharp vertical and horizontal velocity contrasts. We associate to these local operators a global fast sweeping method to take into account all possible directions of wave propagation. Our formulation allows us to introduce a variable grid spacing in all three directions of space. We demonstrate the efficiency of this algorithm in terms of computational time and the gain in accuracy of the computed traveltimes and their derivatives on several numerical examples.
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Contributor : Mark Noble Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 12:14:48 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 12:31:19 PM

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Mark S. Noble, Alexandrine Gesret, Nidhal Belayouni. Accurate 3-D finite difference computation of traveltimes in strongly heterogeneous media. Geophysical Journal International, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2014, 199 (3), pp.1572-1585. ⟨10.1093/gji/ggu358⟩. ⟨hal-01074989⟩



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