Comparison of ray and full-wave synthetic seismograms of reflected SH waves in attenuating media

Ivan Psencik, Milosz Wcislo & Jose Carcione


We evaluate accuracy of approximate ray computations in anelastic media by comparing ray synthetic seismograms of an SH wave reflected at a horizontal interface separating two homogeneous, isotropic, elastic or anelastic half-spaces with full-wave synthetic seismograms. The comparison shows good accuracy of ray results outside the critical region of a reference elastic model. In the critical region, the ray method does not work properly anyway. The comparison confirms conclusions of previous studies showing that the effects of attenuation on reflection and transmission coefficients are insignificant in comparison with effects of attenuation on wave propagation. Use of a non-causal attenuation instead of a causal one leads to more significant distortions.

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Seismic Waves in Complex 3-D Structures, 31 (2022), 55-68 (ISSN 2336-3827, online at