This paper reports a comparison of three different rheological models used to characterize receiver coupling to the seafloor. We used a finite-element simulation tool to simulate the mechanical receiver coupling to the seafloor as a viscoelastic system with a combination of linear elastic springs and linear viscous dashpots, known as rheological models. Three models cover most of all mechanic coupling systems, the most commonly applied Kelvin-Voigt model (KVM), the Maxwell model (MM), and the standard linear solid (SLS) model. The models differ in behavior for different coupling aspects such as oscillation, creeping, stress relaxation, and their combinations. We tested these models’ ability and relevance for use in modeling seismic receiver coupling to the seafloor. For that purpose, we used an optimized mathematical approach to simulate coupling behavior under various coupling conditions. We found how receiver coupling will affect P- and S-waves for all three models and provided some insight into which model is most suitable to describe coupling under different circumstances. We found that the SLS model represents a general description of most of the coupling effects to the seafloor and should be used when the coupling acts as a viscoelastic system. The KVM and MM are applicable in extreme cases, such as for elastic waves in consolidated sediments (KVM) and dominant creeping effects, as in very soft biosediment (MM).

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