For a given stiffness tensor (tensor of elastic moduli) of a generally anisotropic medium, we estimate to what extent the medium is transversely isotropic (uniaxial) and determine the direction of its reference symmetry axis expressed in terms of the unit reference symmetry vector. If the medium is exactly transversely isotropic (exactly uniaxial), we obtain the direction of its symmetry axis. We can also calculate the first-order and second-order spatial derivatives of the reference symmetry vector which may be useful in tracing the reference rays for the coupling ray theory. The proposed method is tested using various transversely isotropic (uniaxial) and approximately transversely isotropic (approximately uniaxial) media.
Elastic anisotropy, stiffness tensor, elastic moduli, transverse isotropy, approximate transverse isotropy, reference symmetry axis.
The reprint is available in PDF (132 kB).