Volume 45 Number 3
  • E-ISSN: 1365-2478


The transversely isotropic (TI) model with a tilted axis of symmetry may be typical, for instance, for sediments near the flanks of salt domes. This work is devoted to an analysis of reflection moveout from horizontal and dipping reflectors in the symmetry plane of TI media that contains the symmetry axis. While for vertical and horizontal transverse isotropy zero‐offset reflections exist for the full range of dips up to 90°, this is no longer the case for intermediate axis orientations. For typical homogeneous models with a symmetry axis tilted towards the reflector, wavefront distortions make it impossible to generate specular zero‐offset reflected rays from steep interfaces. The ‘missing’ dipping planes can be imaged only in vertically inhomogeneous media by using waves. These unusual phenomena may have serious implications in salt imaging.  In non‐elliptical TI media, the tilt of the symmetry axis may have a drastic influence on normal‐moveout (NMO) velocity from horizontal reflectors, as well as on the dependence of NMO velocity on the ray parameter (the ‘dip‐moveout (DMO) signature’). The DMO signature retains the same character as for vertical transverse isotropy only for near‐vertical and near‐horizontal orientation of the symmetry axis. The behaviour of NMO velocity rapidly changes if the symmetry axis is tilted away from the vertical, with a tilt of ±20° being almost sufficient to eliminate the influence of the anisotropy on the DMO signature. For larger tilt angles and typical positive values of the difference between the anisotropic parameters ε and δ, the NMO velocity increases with more slowly than in homogeneous isotropic media; a dependence usually caused by a vertical velocity gradient. Dip‐moveout processing for a wide range of tilt angles requires application of anisotropic DMO algorithms.  The strong influence of the tilt angle on P‐wave moveout can be used to constrain the tilt using P‐wave NMO velocity in the plane that includes the symmetry axis. However, if the azimuth of the axis is unknown, the inversion for the axis orientation cannot be performed without a 3D analysis of reflection traveltimes on lines with different azimuthal directions.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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