Implementation of boundary conditions in finite-difference schemes is not straightforward for the elastic wave equation if a staggered grid formulation is used. Reverse time migration of VSP data requires a proper description of the recording surface so as not to excite false P- and S-waves. Such contributions may cause artifacts in the imaging procedure. The boundary conditions for the elastic stress tensor can be implemented numerically in a staggered coarse grid modeling scheme by using band-limited spatial delta-functions and band-limited first-order derivatives of these spatial delta-functions. A representation theorem for elastic waves is derived to test the implementation of the spatial part of the boundary condition. The implementation is tested in a 2-D numerical experiment for a closed, but curved, boundary S enclosing a volume V. The test condition is that within the volume V, the difference between the forward modeled field and the retropropagated field should be equal to zero. Both P- and S-waves are properly recovered in a 2-D reverse time modeling example. The numerical artifacts related to the proposed spatial approximation of the boundary condition are found to be negligible.

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