Calculation of the slowness vector from the ray vector in anisotropic media

Vaclav Vavrycuk


The wave quantities needed in constructing wave fields propagating in anisotropic elastic media are usually calculated as a function of the slowness vector, or of its direction called the wave normal. In some applications, however, it is desirable to calculate the wave quantities as a function of the ray direction. In this paper, a method of calculating the slowness vector for a specified ray direction is proposed. The method is applicable to general anisotropy of arbitrary strength with arbitrary complex wave surface. The slowness vector is determined by numerically solving a system of multivariate polynomial equations of the sixth order. By solving the equations, we obtain a complete set of slowness vectors corresponding to all wave types and to all branches of the wave surface including the slowness vectors along the acoustic axes. The wave surface can be folded to any degree. The system of equations is further specified for rays shot in the symmetry plane of an orthorhombic medium and for a transversely isotropic medium. The system is decoupled into two polynomial equations of the fourth order for the P-SV waves, and into equations for the SH wave, which yield an explicit closed-form solution. The presented approach is particularly advantageous in constructing ray fields, ray-theoretical Green functions, wavefronts and wave fields in strong anisotropy.


Acoustic axis, anisotropy, elasticity, ray theory.

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Proc. R. Soc. A, 462 (2006), 883-896.
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