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Abstract

The descriptions of edge diffraction that one can use to solve practical problems depend on the character of the problem considered. In some cases, consideration of an individual edge wave can be of practical importance. It is often sufficient in such situations to describe the edge wave in the framework of the geometric theory of diffraction. Sometimes it is necessary to use a more complicated description, which involves combining the formulas of the geometric theory of diffraction and the boundary-layer approximation. However, of greatest practical importance is the case in which edge waves can be regarded as factors interfering with regular reflections/transmissions representing basic geophysical information. In such situations, it is possible to use the simplest description of edge-diffraction phenomena. All the following sections deal only with that kind of situation. Let us begin with general considerations on the representation of wavefields in media consisting of regions and interfaces. Description of a stationary wavefield in such media is based on separation of the wavefield into individual waves caused by the consecutive reflection/transmission phenomena at the interfaces. It can be written in the form of the superposition of individual waves: where m is the index of the individual wave fm, Φm is its amplitude, τm is its eikonal, cm is the propagation velocity, and ω is the frequency of oscillations. If there are diffracting edges at the interfaces, this description is not sufficient because of shadow zones in the individual

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