Many real rocks and sediments relevant to seismic exploration can be described by elastic, transversely isotropic media. The properties of plane waves propagating in a transversely isotropic medium can be given in an analytically exact form. Here the polarization is recast into a comprehensive form that includes Daley and Hron's normalization and Helbig's full range of elastic constants. But these formulas are rather lengthy and do not easily reveal the features caused by anisotropy. Hence Thomsen suggested an approximation scheme for weak transverse isotropy. His derivation of the approximate polarization, however, is based on a property that is not suitable to measure small differences between an isotropic and a weakly transversely isotropic medium. Therefore the approximation of the polarization is recast. The corrected approximation does show a dependence on weak transverse isotropy. This feature can be viewed as an additional rotation of the polarization with respect to the wavenormal. It depends on the anisotropy as well as the inverse velocity ratio. An approximate condition of pure polarization, which occurs in certain directions, is also obtained. The corrected approximation results in a better match of the approximate polarization with the exact one, providing the assumption of weak transverse isotropy is met. When comparing the additional rotation with the deviation of the (observable) ray direction from the wavenormal, the qSV-wave indicates transverse isotropy most clearly.

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