We tested a biconjugate gradient stabilized (BiCGSTAB) solver using a multigrid-based preconditioner for solving the acoustic wave (Helmholtz) equation in the frequency domain. The perfectly matched layer (PML) method was used as the radiation boundary condition (RBC). The equation was discretized using either a second- or fourth-order finite-difference (FD) scheme. The convergence of an iterative solver depended strongly on the RBC used because the spectrum of the discretized equation also depends on it. We used a geometric multigrid approach to construct a preconditioner for our FD frequency-domain (FDFD) forward solver equipped with the PML boundary condition. For efficiency, this preconditioner was only constructed using a second-order FD scheme with negligible attenuation inside the PML domain. The preconditioner was used for accelerating the convergence rate of the FDFD forward solver for cases when the discretization grids were oversampled (i.e., when the number of discretization points per minimum wavelength was greater than 10). The number of multigrid levels was also chosen adaptively depending on the number of discretization grids. We found that the multigrid preconditioner can speed up the total computational time of the BiCGSTAB solver for oversampled cases or at low frequencies. We also observed that the BiCGSTAB solver using an accurate PML boundary condition converged for realistic SEG benchmark models at high frequencies.

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