Accurate simulation of seismic wave propagation in complex geologic structures is of particular interest nowadays. However, difficulties arise for complex geologic structures with great and rapid structural changes, due, for instance, to the presence of shadow zones, head waves, diffractions and/or edge effects. Different methods have thus been developed and are typically tested on synthetic configurations against analytical solutions for simple canonical problems, reference methods, or via direct comparison with real data acquired in situ. Such approaches have limitations, especially if the propagation occurs in a complex environment with strong-contrast reflectors and surface irregularities because it can be difficult to determine the method that gives the best approximation of the “real” solution or to interpret the results obtained without an a priori knowledge of the geologic environment. An alternative approach for seismics consists in comparing the synthetic data with data obtained in laboratory experiments. In contrast to in situ experiments, high-quality data are collected under controlled conditions for a known configuration. In contrast with numerical experiments, laboratory data possess many of the characteristics of field data because real waves propagate through models with no numerical approximations. Our main purpose was to test the approach of using laboratory data as reference data for benchmarking 3D numerical methods and techniques using the setup that we have designed for this study. We performed laboratory-scaled measurements of zero-offset reflection of broadband pulses from a strong topographic environment immersed in a water tank. We compared these measurements with numerical data simulated by means of a discretized Kirchhoff integral method. The comparisons of synthetic and laboratory data indicated a good quantitative fit in terms of time arrivals and acceptable fit in amplitudes. Thus, the first step of the approach was successfully applied.

You do not currently have access to this article.