PP-wave reflection coefficients in weakly anisotropic elastic media

Vaclav Vavrycuk & Ivan Psencik


Approximate PP-wave reflection coefficients for weak contrast interfaces separating elastic, weakly transversely isotropic media have been derived recently by several authors. Application of these coefficients is limited because the axis of symmetry of transversely isotropic media must be either perpendicular or parallel to the reflector. In this paper, we remove this limitation by deriving a formula for the PP-wave reflection coefficient for weak contrast interfaces separating two weakly but arbitrarily anisotropic media. The formula is obtained by applying the first-order perturbation theory. The approximate coefficient consists of a sum of the PP-wave reflection coefficient for a weak contrast interface separating two background isotropic half-spaces and a perturbation attributable to the deviation of anisotropic half-spaces from their isotropic backgrounds. The coefficient depends linearly on differences of weak anisotropy parameters across the interface. This simplifies studies of sensitivity of such coefficients to the parameters of the surrounding structure, which represent a basic part of the amplitude-versus-offset (AVO) or amplitude-versus-azimuth (AVA) analysis. The reflection coefficient is reciprocal. In the same way, the formula for the PP-wave transmission coefficient can be derived. The generalization of the procedure presented for the derivation of coefficients of converted waves is also possible although slightly more complicated. Dependence of the reflection coefficient on the angle of incidence is expressed in terms of three factors, as in isotropic media. The first factor alone describes normal incidence reflection. The second yields the low-order angular variations. All three factors describe the coefficient in the whole region, in which the approximate formula is valid. In symmetry planes of weakly anisotropic media of higher symmetry, the approximate formula reduces to the formulas presented by other authors. The accuracy of the approximate formula for the PP reflection coefficient is illustrated on the model with an interface separating an isotropic half-space from a half-space filled by a transversely isotropic material with a horizontal axis of symmetry. The results show a very good fit with results of the exact formula, even in cases of strong anisotropy and strong velocity contrast.

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Geophysics, 63 (1998), 2129-2141.
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