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Rayleigh-wave ellipticity in weakly heterogeneous layered media

October 4, 2021

We derive approximate expressions for the ellipticity (i.e. horizontal-to-vertical or vertical-to-horizontal ratio) of Rayleigh waves propagating in a layered medium. The approximation is based on the generalized energy equation for Rayleigh waves, which has been used previously to obtain perturbational results for ellipticity. For a medium with weakly heterogeneous layers, we obtain an approximation from the perturbational result by taking the background medium to be homogeneous. The generalized energy equation also requires an auxiliary function and we discuss how the various possible functions are related to the homogeneous Rayleigh-wave eigenfunction. The analysis reveals that, within the weak approximation, the product of ellipticity and squared phase velocity is linearly related to squared shear wave velocity in the subsurface. We show the accuracy of the approximation with a simple layer-over-half-space model and then demonstrate its utility in a linear inversion scheme for shear wave velocity.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title Rayleigh-wave ellipticity in weakly heterogeneous layered media
DOI 10.1093/gji/ggab395
Authors Matthew M. Haney, Victor C. Tsai
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Geophysical Journal International
Index ID 70236649
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Volcano Science Center

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