Abstract

To understand the scattering characteristics of seismic shear waves in the Earth, a laboratory physical model experiment in ultrasonic frequency range was performed. By analyzing waveform envelopes and particle motions of shear waves in media with different correlation distance and fluctuation intensity, we studied the strength of scattered wave excitation and the distortion of shear-wave polarization as a function of ka (wavenumber times the correlation distance). We used gabbro and granite as media having different small-scale random heterogeneities. The granite we used contained preferred-oriented thin microcracks. The correlation distance a and the standard deviation of the fractional fluctuation of the shear-wave velocity ϵ were estimated by fitting exponential-type autocorrelation functions. The estimated values were a = 0.84 mm and ϵ = 8.1% for the gabbro, and a = 0.39 mm and ϵ = 17.0% for the granite. Waveform measurements were performed in the frequency range 0.25-1 MHz, which roughly corresponds to ka as 0.25-1. Envelope broadening appeared when ka exceeds 0.4 for the granite and 1.4 for the gabbro. Shear-wave polarizations were distorted by scattering when ka exceeds 0.2 for the granite and 0.7 for the gabbro. The results on envelope broadening suggest the importance of large-angle scattering due to small-scale random heterogeneities and cracks in the envelope broadening, in addition to diffraction effects due to large-scale heterogeneities. The effect of aligned microcracks on scattering was also examined. It was found that scattering was prominent when shear wave propagates perpendicular to the aligned crack plane.

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