Abstract

The point-source traveltime field has an upwind singularity at the source point. Consequently, all formally high-order, finite-difference eikonal solvers exhibit first-order convergence and relatively large errors. Adaptive upwind finite-difference methods based on high-order Weighted Essentially NonOscillatory (WENO) Runge-Kutta difference schemes for the paraxial eikonal equation overcome this difficulty. The method controls error by automatic grid refinement and coarsening based on a posteriori error estimation. It achieves prescribed accuracy at a far lower cost than does the fixed-grid method. Moreover, the achieved high accuracy of traveltimes yields reliable estimates of auxiliary quantities such as take-off angles and geometric spreading factors.

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