ABSTRACT

We present a new method for correcting the amplitudes of arrivals in an acoustic finite-difference simulation for elastic effects. In this method, we selectively compute an estimate of the error incurred when the acoustic wave equation is used to approximate the behavior of the elastic wave equation. This error estimate is used to generate an effective source field in a second acoustic simulation. The result of this second simulation is then applied as a correction to the original acoustic simulation. The overall cost is approximately twice that of an acoustic simulation but substantially less than the cost of an elastic simulation. Because both simulations are acoustic, no S-waves are generated, so dispersed converted waves are avoided. We tested the characteristics of the method on a simple synthetic model designed to simulate propagation through a strong acoustic impedance contrast representative of sedimentary geology. It corrected amplitudes to high accuracy for reflected arrivals over a wide range of incidence angles. We also evaluated results from simulations on more complex models that demonstrated that the method was applicable in realistic sedimentary models containing a wide range of seismic contrasts. However, its accuracy was reduced for wide-angle reflections from very high impedance contrasts such as a shallow top-salt interface. We examined the influence of modeling at coarse grid resolutions, in which converted S-waves in the equivalent elastic simulation are dispersed. These results provide some validation for the accuracy of the method when applied using finite-difference grids designed for acoustic modeling. The method appears to offer a cost-effective means of modeling elastic amplitudes for P-wave arrivals in a useful range of velocity models. It has several potential applications in imaging and inversion.

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