P-wave reflection moveout approximation for horizontally layered media of arbitrary moderate anisotropy

Veronique Farra & Ivan Psencik


We present an approximate nonhyperbolic P-wave moveout formula applicable to horizontally layered media of moderate or weak anisotropy of arbitrary symmetry and orientation. Anisotropy symmetry and its orientation may differ from layer to layer. Instead of commonly used Taylor-series expansion of the square of the reflection traveltime in terms of the square of the offset, we use the weak-anisotropy approximation, in which the square of the reflection traveltime is expanded in terms of weak-anisotropy (WA) parameters. The resulting formula is simple, and it provides a transparent relation between the traveltimes and WA parameters. Along an arbitrarily chosen single surface profile, it depends, in each layer, on the thickness of the layer, on the reference P-wave velocity used for the construction of reference rays, and on three WA parameters specified in the Cartesian coordinate system related to the profile. In each layer, these three “profile” WA parameters depend on “local” WA parameters specifying anisotropy of a given layer in a local coordinate system and on directional cosines specifying the orientation of the local coordinate system with respect to the profile one. The number of local P-wave WA parameters may vary from three for transverse isotropy or six for orthorhombic symmetry to nine for triclinic symmetry. Our tests of the accuracy indicate that the maximum relative traveltime errors do not exceed 0.5% or 2.5% for weak or moderate P-wave anisotropy, respectively.

Whole paper

The reprint can be obtained from Ivan Psencik.

Geophysics, 85 (2020), C61-C70.