Nonlinear traveltime inversion scheme for crosshole seismic tomography in tilted transversely isotropic media

Bing Zhou, Stewart Greenhalgh, Alan Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Crosshole seismic tomography often is applied to image the velocity structure of an interwell medium. If the rocks are anisotropic, the tomographic technique must be adapted to the complex situation; otherwise, it leads to a false interpretation. We propose a nonlinear kinematic inversion method for crosshole seismic tomography in composite transversely isotropic media with known dipping symmetry axes. This method is based on a new version of the first-order traveltime perturbation equation. It directly uses the derivative of the phase velocity rather than the eigenvectors of the body-wave modes to overcome the singularity problem for application to the two quasi-shear waves. We applied an iterative nonlinear solver incorporating our kinematic ray-tracing scheme and directly compute the Jacobian matrix in an arbitrary reference medium. This reconstructs the five elastic moduli or Thomsen parameters from the first-arrival traveltimes of the three seismic body waves (qP, qSV, qSH) in strongly and weakly anisotropic media. We conducted three synthetic experiments that involve determining anisotropic parameters for a homogeneous rock, reconstructing a fault embedded in a strongly anisotropic background, and imaging a complicated four-layer model containing a small channel and a buried dipping interface. We compared results of our nonlinear inversion method with isotropic tomography and the traditional linear anisotropic inversion scheme, which showed the capability and superiority of the new scheme for crosshole tomographic imaging.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)D17-D33
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008


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