Fast and accurate traveltime computation for quasi-P waves in anisotropic media is an essential ingredient of many seismic processing and interpretation applications such as Kirchhoff modeling and migration, microseismic source localization, and traveltime tomography. Fast-sweeping methods are widely used for solving the anisotropic eikonal equation due to their flexibility in solving general equations compared to the fast-marching method. However, it has been observed that fast sweeping can be much less efficient than fast marching for models with curved characteristics and practical grid sizes. By representing a tilted transversely isotropic (TTI) equation as a sequence of elliptically isotropic (EI) eikonal equations, we determine that the fast-marching algorithm can be used to compute fast and accurate traveltimes for TTI media. The tilt angle is absorbed into the description of the effective EI model; therefore, the adopted approach does not compromise on the solution accuracy. Through tests on benchmark synthetic models, we test our fast-marching algorithm and discover considerable improvement in accuracy by using factorization and a second-order finite-difference stencil. The adopted methodology opens the door to the possibility of using the fast-marching algorithm for a wider class of anisotropic eikonal equations.

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