Field records for small source-receiver offsets often contain intensive converted PS-waves that may be caused by the influence of anisotropy on either side of the reflector. Here, we study the small-angle reflection coefficients of the split converted - and -waves ( and ) for a horizontal interface separating two transversely isotropic (TI) media with arbitrary orientations of the symmetry axis.
The normal-incidence reflection coefficients and vanish when both half-spaces have a horizontal symmetry plane, which happens if the symmetry axis is vertical or horizontal (i.e., if the medium is VTI or HTI). For a tilted symmetry axis in either medium, however, the magnitude of the reflection coefficients can reach substantial values that exceed 0.1, even if the anisotropy strength is moderate. To study the influence exerted by the orientation of the symmetry axis and the anisotropy parameters, we develop concise weak-contrast, weak-anisotropyapproximations for the PS-wave reflection coefficients and com-pare them with exact numerical results. In particular, the analytic solutions show that the contributions made by the Thomsen parameters ϵ and δ and the symmetry-axis tilt ν to the coefficients and can be expressed through the first derivative of the P-wave phase velocity at normal incidence. If the symmetry-axis orientation and anisotropy parameters do not change across the interface, the normal-incidence reflection coefficients are insignificant, regardless of the strength of the velocity and density contrast. The AVO (amplitude variation with offset) gradients of the PS-waves are influenced primarily by the anisotropy of the incidence medium that causes shear-wave splitting and determines the partitioning of energy between the and modes.
Because of their substantial amplitude, small-angle PS reflections in TI media contain valuable information for anisotropic AVO inversion of multicomponent data. Our analytic solutions provide a foundation for linear AVO-inversion algorithms and can be used to guide nonlinear inversion that is based on the exact reflection coefficients.