High-resolution seismic array imaging based on an SEM-FK hybrid method


We demonstrate the feasibility of high-resolution seismic array imaging based on teleseismic recordings using full numerical wave simulations. We develop a hybrid method that interfaces a frequency–wavenumber (FK) calculation, which provides analytical solutions to 1-D layered background models with a spectral-element (SEM) numerical solver to calculate synthetic responses of local media to plane-wave incidence.This hybrid method accurately deals with local heterogeneities and discontinuity undulations, and represents an efficient tool for the forward modelling of teleseismic coda (including converted and scattered) waves. We benchmark the accuracy of the SEM-FK hybrid method against FK solutions for 1-D media. We then compute sensitivity kernels for teleseismic coda waves by interacting the forward teleseismic waves with an adjoint wavefield, produced by injecting coda waves as adjoint sources, based on adjoint techniques. These sensitivity kernels provide the basis for mapping variations in subsurface discontinuities, density and velocity structures through non-linear conjugate-gradient methods. We illustrate various synthetic imaging experiments, including discontinuity characterization, volumetric structural inversion for the crust or subduction zones. These tests show that using pre-conditioners based upon the scaled product of sensitivity kernels for different phases, combining finite-frequency traveltime and waveform inversion, and/or adopting hierarchical inversions from long- to short-period waveforms could reduce the non-linearity of the seismic inverse problem and speed up its convergence. The encouraging results of these synthetic examples suggest that inversion of teleseismic coda phases based on the SEM-FK hybrid method and adjoint techniques is a promising tool for structural imaging beneath dense seismic arrays.

Geophysical Journal International