Traveltime approximations for inhomogeneous transversely isotropic media with a horizontal symmetry axis
AuthorsAlkhalifah, Tariq Ali
KAUST DepartmentPhysical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Division
Environmental Science and Engineering Program
Earth Science and Engineering Program
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AbstractTraveltime information is crucial for parameter estimation, especially if the medium is described by a set of anisotropy parameters. We can efficiently estimate these parameters if we are able to relate them analytically to traveltimes, which is generally hard to do in inhomogeneous media. I develop traveltime approximations for transversely isotropic media with a horizontal symmetry axis (HTI) as simplified and even linear functions of the anisotropy parameters. This is accomplished by perturbing the solution of the HTI eikonal equation with respect to the anellipticity parameter, η and the azimuth of the symmetry axis (typically associated with the fracture direction) from a generally inhomogeneous, elliptically anisotropic background medium. Such a perturbation is convenient since the elliptically anisotropic information might be obtained from well velocities in HTI media. Thus, we scan for only η and the symmetry-axis azimuth. The resulting approximations can provide a reasonably accurate analytical description of the traveltime in a homogenous background compared to other published moveout equations. They also help extend the inhomogenous background isotropic or elliptically anisotropic models to an HTI one with a smoothly variable η and symmetry-axis azimuth. © 2012 European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers.
SponsorsI am grateful to KAUST for its financial support. I thank Ilya Tsvankin and Alexey Stovas for their critical review of the paper and helpful suggestions.