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Phys Rev E. 2016 Apr;93:043307. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.93.043307. Epub 2016 Apr 8.

Local algorithm for computing complex travel time based on the complex eikonal equation.

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Department of Geophysics, College for Geoexploration Science and Technology, Jilin University, No. 938, Ximinzhu Street, Changchun, Jilin 130026, China.


The traditional algorithm for computing the complex travel time, e.g., dynamic ray tracing method, is based on the paraxial ray approximation, which exploits the second-order Taylor expansion. Consequently, the computed results are strongly dependent on the width of the ray tube and, in regions with dramatic velocity variations, it is difficult for the method to account for the velocity variations. When solving the complex eikonal equation, the paraxial ray approximation can be avoided and no second-order Taylor expansion is required. However, this process is time consuming. In this case, we may replace the global computation of the whole model with local computation by taking both sides of the ray as curved boundaries of the evanescent wave. For a given ray, the imaginary part of the complex travel time should be zero on the central ray. To satisfy this condition, the central ray should be taken as a curved boundary. We propose a nonuniform grid-based finite difference scheme to solve the curved boundary problem. In addition, we apply the limited-memory Broyden-Fletcher-Goldfarb-Shanno technology for obtaining the imaginary slowness used to compute the complex travel time. The numerical experiments show that the proposed method is accurate. We examine the effectiveness of the algorithm for the complex travel time by comparing the results with those from the dynamic ray tracing method and the Gauss-Newton Conjugate Gradient fast marching method.


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