Abstract

An earth-flattening transformation is developed for wave-propagation problems that can be formulated in terms of uncoupled scalar Helmholtz equations. Through the transformation, wave problems in isotropic, spherically symmetric media with a specified radial heterogeneity can be expressed in terms of a flat geometry with a suitably vertical heterogeneity. The transformation is exact for homogeneous (no source) problems and is useful for normal mode studies. When a point source of waves is present, the earth-flattening transformation together with the Watson transform converts the reflected wave field from a sum over discrete, spherical eigenfunctions to an integral over continuous wave numbers in a flat geometry. The far-field form of this integral shares many properties with the Weyl integral and is useful for body-wave studies in a spherical earth.

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