We have developed an analytic and approximate formula for vertical slowness components of down- and upgoing plane P waves in 3D tilted orthorhombic media. A perturbation method and Shanks transform were used to derive the approximation for slowness surface of P waves in tilted orthorhombic media. We have also quantitatively described the validity range of the radial horizontal slowness components for the proposed formula. The validity range was affected by the strength of the anellipticity of an orthorhombic medium: the stronger the anellipticity, the smaller the validity range. Numerical examples determined that the proposed formula is accurate for tilted orthorhombic media with weak to strong anellipticity. We have also evaluated in detail the application of the proposed formula on calculating the P-wave intercept time in the τ-p domain for horizontally layered, tilted orthorhombic models. Our formula is useful for ray tracing, phase-shift migration, and τ-p domain intercept time approximation for tilted orthorhombic media.

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