Anisotropic velocity analysis using qP-waves in transversely isotropic media with a vertical symmetry axis (VTI) usually is done by inferring the anellipticity parameter η and the normal moveout velocity VNMO from the nonhyperbolic character of the moveout. Several approximations explicit in these parameters exist with varying degrees of accuracy. Here, we present a rational interpolation approach to nonhyperbolic moveout analysis in the t-x domain. This method has no additional computational overhead compared to using expressions explicit in η and VNMO. The lack of such overhead stems from the observation that, for fixed η and zero-offset two-way traveltime t0, the moveout curve for different values of VNMO can be calculated by simple stretching of the offset axis. This observation is based on the assumptions that the traveltimes of qP-waves in transversely isotropic media mainly depend on η and VNMO, and that the shear-wave velocity along the symmetry axis has a negligibleinfluence on these traveltimes. The accuracy of the rational interpolation method is as good as that of these approximations. The method can be tuned accurately to any offset range of interest by increasing the order of the interpolation. We test the method using both synthetic and field data and compare it with the nonhyperbolic moveout equation of Alkhalifah and Tsvankin (1995) and the shifted hyperbola equation of Fomel (2004). Both data types confirm that for η0.1, our method significantly outperforms the nonhyperbolic moveout equation in terms of combined unbiased parameter estimation with accurate moveout correction. Comparison with the shifted hyperbola equation of Fomel for Greenhorn-shale anisotropy establishes almost identical accuracy of the rational interpolation method and his equation. Even though the proposed method currently deals with homogeneous media only, results from application to synthetic and field data confirm the applicability of the proposed method to horizontally layered VTI media.

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