Polarization, phase velocity and NMO velocity of qP-waves in arbitrary weakly anisotropic media

Ivan Psencik & Dirk Gajewski


We present approximate formulae for the qP wave phase velocity, polarization vector and normal moveout velocity in an arbitrary weakly anisotropic medium obtained with the first-order perturbation theory. All these quantities are expressed in terms of weak anisotropy (WA) parameters, which represent a natural generalization of parameters introduced by Thomsen. The formulas presented and the WA parameters have properties of Thomsen's formulas and parameters: (1) the approximate equations are considerably simpler than exact equations for qP waves; (2) the WA parameters are nondimensional quantities; (3) in isotropic media, the WA parameters are zero and the corresponding equations reduce to equations for isotropic media. In contrast to Thomsen's parameters, the WA parameters are related linearly to the density normalized elastic parameters. For the transversely isotropic media with vertical axis of symmetry, the equations presented and the WA parameters reduce to the equations and linearized parameters of Thomsen. The accuracy of the formulas presented is tested on two examples of anisotropic media with relatively strong anisotropy: on a transversely isotropic medium with the horizontal axis of symmetry and on a medium with triclinic anisotropy. Although anisotropy is rather strong, the approximate formulas presented yield satisfactory results.

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The reprint can be obtained from Ivan Psencik.

Geophysics, 63 (1998), 1754-1766.