Most bulk elastic media are weakly anisotropic. The equations governing weak anisotropy are much simpler than those governing strong anisotropy, and they are much easier to grasp intuitively. These equations indicate that a certain anisotropic parameter (denoted delta ) controls most anisotropic phenomena of importance in exploration geophysics, some of which are nonnegligible even when the anisotropy is weak. The critical parameter delta is an awkward combination of elastic parameters, a combination which is totally independent of horizontal velocity and which may be either positive or negative in natural contexts.

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