Weak-anisotropy approximation of P-wave reflection coefficient in anisotropic media of arbitrary symmetry

Ivan Psencik & Veronique Farra


Applicability of the approximate expression for the P-wave reflection coefficient at a weak-contrast reflector separating two weakly anisotropic half-spaces of arbitrary symmetry is extended to media of arbitrary symmetry and tilt. The reflection coefficient consists of the approximate P-wave reflection coefficient at a weak-contrast interface separating two reference isotropic half-spaces and a correction term due to anisotropy. Along an arbitrarily chosen profile, the "isotropic" term depends on the density and P- and S-wave contrasts, and the correction term depends linearly on the contrasts of four profile weak-anisotropy (WA) parameters specifying anisotropy along the profile. In addition, both terms depend on the polar angle of incidence. In each half-space, the four profile WA parameters can be expressed as a linear combination of 12 of 21 global WA parameters specifying anisotropy of the half-space. Coefficients of this linear combination are functions of the azimuth of the profile. WA parameters are a generalization of Thomsen parameters to arbitrary anisotropy and represent an alternative to 21 independent elements of the stiffness tensor. WA parameters can be used for the approximation of other related concepts such as the reflection moveout or the geometric spreading. Presented tests illustrate high accuracy and flexibility of the proposed formula for the P-wave reflection coefficient. They also show that very accurate results can be obtained for contrasts and anisotropy, which cannot be considered weak.

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The reprint can be obtained from Ivan Psencik.

Geophysics, 87 (2022), C39-C48.