To efficiently invert seismic amplitudes for elastic parameters, pseudoquartic approximations to the Zoeppritz equations are derived to calculate P-P-wave reflection and transmission coefficients as a function of the ray parameter p. These explicit expressions have a compact form in which the coefficients of the p 2 and p 4 terms are given in terms of the vertical slownesses. The amplitude coefficients are also represented as a quadratic function of the elastic contrasts at an interface and are compared to the linear approximation used in conventional amplitude variation with offset (AVO) analysis, which can invert for only two elastic parameters. Numerical analysis with the second-order approximation shows that the condition number of the Frechet matrix for three elastic parameters is improved significantly from using a linear approximation. Therefore, those quadratic approximations can be used directly with amplitude information to estimate not only two but three parameters: P-wave velocity contrast, S-wave velocity contrast, and the ratio of S-wave and P-wave velocities at an interface.

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