Full-waveform inversion (FWI) in practical applications is currently used to invert the direct arrivals (diving waves, no reflections) using relatively long offsets. This is driven mainly by the high nonlinearity introduced to the inversion problem when reflection data are included, which in some cases require extremely low frequency for convergence. However, analytical insights into diving waves have lagged behind this sudden interest. We use analytical formulas that describe the diving wave’s behavior and traveltime in a constant-gradient medium to develop insights into the traveltime moveout of diving waves and the image (model) point dispersal (residual) when the wrong velocity is used. The explicit formulations that describe these phenomena reveal the high dependence of diving-wave imaging on the gradient and the initial velocity. The analytical image point residual equation can be further used to scan for the best-fit linear velocity model, which is now becoming a common sight as an initial velocity model for FWI. We determined the accuracy and versatility of these analytical formulas through numerical tests.

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