Ray tracing and inhomogeneous dynamic ray tracing for anisotropy specified in curvilinear coordinates

Einar Iversen & Ivan Psencik


Ray tracing has recently been expressed for anisotropy specified in a local Cartesian coordinate system, which may vary continuously in a model specified by elastic parameters. It takes advantage of the fact that anisotropy is often of a simpler nature locally (and is thus specified by a smaller number of elastic parameters) and that the orientation of its symmetry elements may vary. Here we extend this approach by replacing the local Cartesian coordinate system with a curvilinear coordinate system of global extent and by applying the new approach to ray tracing and inhomogeneous dynamic ray tracing. The curvilinear coordinate system is orthogonal and is constructed so that the coordinate axes are consistent with the considered anisotropy of the medium. Our formulation allows for computation of ray attributes (e.g. ray velocity vector and paraxial ray attributes) in the curvilinear coordinate system, while rays are computed in global Cartesian coordinates. Compared to the classic formulation in terms of 21 elastic moduli in global Cartesian coordinates, the main advantages are improved efficiency, lower computer-memory requirements, and conservation of anisotropic symmetry throughout the model.


Body waves, seismic anisotropy, wave propagation.

Whole paper

The reprint can be obtained from Ivan Psencik.

Geophys. J. int., 174 (2008), 316-330.