Local Ray-Based Traveltime Computation Using the Linearized Eikonal Equation

  • Mohammed S. Almubarak

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The computation of traveltimes plays a critical role in the conventional implementations of Kirchhoff migration. Finite-difference-based methods are considered one of the most effective approaches for traveltime calculations and are therefore widely used. However, these eikonal solvers are mainly used to obtain early-arrival traveltime. Ray tracing can be used to pick later traveltime branches, besides the early arrivals, which may lead to an improvement in velocity estimation or in seismic imaging. In this thesis, I improved the accuracy of the solution of the linearized eikonal equation by constructing a linear system of equations (LSE) based on finite-difference approximation, which is of second-order accuracy. The ill-conditioned LSE is initially regularized and subsequently solved to calculate the traveltime update. Numerical tests proved that this method is as accurate as the second-order eikonal solver. Later arrivals are picked using ray tracing. These traveltimes are binned to the nearest node on a regular grid and empty nodes are estimated by interpolating the known values. The resulting traveltime field is used as an input to the linearized eikonal algorithm, which improves the accuracy of the interpolated nodes and yields a local ray-based traveltime. This is a preliminary study and further investigation is required to test the efficiency and the convergence of the solutions.
Date of AwardMay 2013
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorTariq Ali Alkhalifah (Supervisor)


  • Linearized
  • Eikonal
  • Ray Tracing
  • Local
  • Traveltime

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