The traditional high-order finite-difference (FD) methods approximate the spatial derivatives to arbitrary even-order accuracy, whereas the time discretization is still of second-order accuracy. Temporal high-order FD methods can improve the accuracy in time greatly. However, the present methods are designed mainly based on the acoustic wave equation instead of elastic approximation. We have developed two temporal high-order staggered-grid FD (SFD) schemes for modeling elastic wave propagation. A new stencil containing the points on the axis and a few off-axial points is introduced to approximate the spatial derivatives. We derive the dispersion relations of the elastic wave equation based on the new stencil, and we estimate FD coefficients by the Taylor series expansion (TE). The TE-based scheme can achieve (2M)th-order spatial and (2N)th-order temporal accuracy (N<5). We further optimize the coefficients of FD operators using a combination of TE and least squares (LS). The FD coefficients at the off-axial and axial points are computed by TE and LS, respectively. To obtain accurate P-, S-, and converted waves, we extend the wavefield decomposition into the temporal high-order SFD schemes. In our modeling, P- and S-wave separation is implemented and P- and S-wavefields are propagated by P- and S-wave dispersion-relation-based FD operators, respectively. We compare our schemes with the conventional SFD method. Numerical examples demonstrate that our TE-based and TE + LS-based schemes have greater accuracy in time and better stability than the conventional method. Moreover, the TE + LS-based scheme is superior to the TE-based scheme in suppressing the spatial dispersion. Owing to the high accuracy in the time and space domains, our new SFD schemes allow for larger time steps and shorter operator lengths, which can improve the computational efficiency.

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