Estimation of parameters and thickness of a horizontal layer of arbitrary anisotropy from P-wave moveout

Han Xiao & Ivan Psencik


We present an inversion scheme to estimate anisotropy parameters and thickness of a homogeneous layer of arbitrary anisotropy from traveltimes of a reflected P wave. The scheme is based on the weak-anisotropy approximation of P-wave moveout formula. For the description of anisotropy, we use the so-called A-parameters, which represent an alternative to standard elastic moduli specifying anisotropic media, and allow specification of anisotropy of any symmetry, orientation and strength. The proposed scheme allows estimation of, at most, nine of fifteen A-parameters, which describe P-wave propagation in the weak-anisotropy approximation. Therefore, generally, the reconstruction of the P-wave phase-velocity surface from the estimated parameters is impossible. If we deal, however, with higher-symmetry anisotropy (transversely isotropic, orthorhombic) and if information about the orientation of its symmetry elements is available, reconstruction of the phase-velocity surface is possible. Synthetic tests indicate that the inversion scheme works well even in situations, in which the use of other commonly used moveout formulae leads to unsatisfactory results.


Traveltime inversion, reflection moveout, arbitrary anisotropy.

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J. appl. Geophys., 195 (2021), 104473 (12 pp).