Seismic amplitude anomalies

Benjamin White, Balan Nair, Alvin Bayliss

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We propose a theory for the phenomenon, observed in seismic data processing, of data which exhibit a smooth traveltime curve, consistent with reflection from a smooth interface, but have unexplained large amplitudes at some receiver locations. Our explanation is based on the theory of the stochastic caustic, as proposed by Kulkamy and White (1982) and White (1984). We show how small random fluctuations in the earth's material properties will have a dramatic effect on amplitudes after a wave has propagated long distances, but will leave the arrival time virtually indistinguishable from that of a wave propagating in a homogeneous medium. With appropriate hypotheses, this phenomenon will occur widi certainty provided the propagation distance is sufficiently long. Furthermore, the probability of occurrence, as a function of propagation distance, is given by a universal law computed here, irrespective of the details the random medium, but depending only on a scale length parameter. We illustrate the effect by computations on the acoustic wave equation, using a fourth-order finite-difference scheme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1986
Event1986 Society of Exploration Geophysicists Annual Meeting, SEG 1986 - Houston, United States
Duration: Nov 2 1986Nov 6 1986


Other1986 Society of Exploration Geophysicists Annual Meeting, SEG 1986
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics


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