Analysis of different parameterisations of waveform inversion of compressional body waves in an elastic transverse isotropic Earth with a vertical axis of symmetry

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In a multi-parameter waveform inversion, the choice of the parameterisation influences the results and their interpretations because leakages and the tradeoff between parameters can cause artefacts. We review the parameterisation selection when the inversion focuses on the recovery of the intermediate-to-long wavenumbers of the compressional velocities from the compressional body (P) waves. Assuming a transverse isotropic medium with a vertical axis of symmetry and weak anisotropy, analytical formulas for the radiation patterns are developed to quantify the tradeoff between the shear velocity and the anisotropic parameters and the effects of setting to zero the shear velocity in the acoustic approach. Because, in an anisotropic medium, the radiation patterns depend on the angle of the incident wave with respect to the vertical axis, two particular patterns are discussed: a transmission pattern when the ingoing and outgoing slowness vectors are parallel and a reflection pattern when the ingoing and outgoing slowness vectors satisfy Snell's law. When the inversion aims at recovering the long-to-intermediate wavenumbers of the compressional velocities from the P-waves, we propose to base the parameterisation choice on the transmission patterns. Since the P-wave events in surface seismic data do not constrain the background (smooth) vertical velocity due to the velocity/depth ambiguity, the preferred parameterisation contains a parameter that has a transmission pattern concentrated along the vertical axis. This parameter can be fixed during the inversion which reduces the size of the model space. The review of several parameterisations shows that the vertical velocity, the Thomsen parameter δ, or the Thomsen parameter ε have a transmission pattern along the vertical axis depending on the parameterisation choice. The review of the reflection patterns of those selected parameterisations should be done in the elastic context. Indeed, when reflection data are also inverted, there are potential leakages of the shear parameter at intermediate angles when we carry out acoustic inversion.

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