The staggered-grid finite-difference (SFD) method is widely used in numerical modeling of wave equations. Conventional SFD stencils for spatial derivatives are usually designed in the space domain. However, when they are used to solve wave equations, it becomes difficult to satisfy the dispersion relations exactly. Liu and Sen (2009c) proposed a new SFD scheme for one-dimensional (1D) scalar wave equation based on the time–space domain dispersion relation and plane wave theory, which is made to satisfy the exact dispersion relation. This new SFD scheme has greater accuracy and better stability than a conventional scheme under the same discretizations. In this paper, we develop this new SFD scheme further for numerical solution of 2D and 3D scalar wave equations. We demonstrate that the modeling accuracy is second order when the conventional 2M-th-order space-domain SFD and the second order time-domain finite-difference stencils are directly used to solve the scalar wave equation. However, under the same discretization, our 1D scheme can reach 2M-th-order accuracy and is always stable; 2D and 3D schemes can reach 2M-th-order accuracy along 8 and 48 directions, respectively, and have better stability. The advantages of the new schemes are also demonstrated with dispersion analysis, stability analysis, and numerical modeling.

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