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A wave:

• is a periodic disturbance

• transmits energy through a material

• no permanent deformation

!

Seismic waves:

• transmit elastic strain energy

(stretching, tearing, bending, distortion across

some surface…)

earthquake…)

View 1: Snapshot of displacement

v = velocity (m/s)

à speed at which

the wave travels

A = amplitude (m)

à maximum

displacement from

rest position

λ = wavelength (m)

à distance

between two points

with same phase

(e.g., peaks, troughs)

View 2: Plot particle displacement through time

T = period (s)

à time for one

complete cycle

(oscillation)

f = frequency (s-1, Hz)

à number of cycles

per second (=1/T)

Angular frequency:

ω = 2πf (rad s-1)

View 1 View 2

20 m

20m

v=d/t and v=fλ

Remark: Seismic waves are sensitive to structure

of similar wavelengths or greater.

Question: Given a simple structure (v) and survey wave

frequency, do you know the rough resolution of a survey?

Seismic wave propagation

In seismic exploration,

we determine how

seismic waves have

travelled from the

seismic source to the

detector.

à changes in velocity,

propagation direction, • wavefront = locus of points with

and wave amplitude the same phase (expands

indicate changes in spherically)

subsurface geology. • ray = vector showing direction of

travel of one point (perpendicular to

wavefront)

Huygens principle:

acts as a point source

• spherical waves radiate

outward from each point

source

• envelope of waves is the

overall wavefront

Fermat’s Principle:

• rays propagate along the Constant

path which yields the velocity

smallest travel time

(principle of least time)

Hitchhike on a highway during a summer day

summer day?

Types of seismic waves

Body waves: travel through the interior of the Earth

P-waves – compressional waves (longitudinal, primary)

• particle motion is in the direction of propagation (e.g., sound waves)

• fastest seismic waves (VP)

(http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~braile/edumod/waves/WaveDemo.htm;

see also Fig 2.7 in textbook)

S-waves – shear waves (transverse, secondary)

• particle motion is perpendicular to the direction of propagation

• two polarizations: SH-waves and SV-waves

• velocity (VS) is less than VP

(http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~braile/edumod/waves/WaveDemo.htm;

see also Fig 2.8 in textbook)

Surface waves: travel along interfaces, such as the ground

Rayleigh waves (“ground roll”)

• coupling between P and S waves at an interface

• elliptical retrograde particle motion in vertical plane

• amplitude decreases exponentially

• velocity (VR) is lower than VS

(http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~braile/edumod/waves/WaveDemo.htm;

see also Fig 2.10a in textbook)

Rayleigh waves are dispersive (VR depends on frequency)

à lower frequency Rayleigh waves have a higher velocity because they

extend to greater depths

the World Trade Centre

www.ldeo.columbia.edu/

~mwest/papers/

WTC_LDEO_KIM.pdf)

Dispersion and frequency-dependent depth sensitivity

.

Love waves

• generated when a near-surface layer has a lower VS than underlying layer

• trapped shear waves with velocity intermediate between VS of two layers

• horizontal particle motion perpendicular to direction of travel

• dispersive

(http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~braile/edumod/waves/WaveDemo.htm;

see also Fig 2.10b in textbook)

Seismic velocities of rocks

• seismic source releases energy as a wave

• as it passes through a material, it exerts stress

• causes small deformation (strain)

• strain is elastic – not permanent

!

Stress = force per unit area (pressure) – N/m2 or Pa

Strain = fractional change in shape – dimensionless

!

Hooke’s Law: strain is proportional to the stress that

produced it (linear elasticity)

For a spring: F = k Δx

where k is the spring constant (material property)

à k governs how much stress is needed to

produce a given strain

For seismic waves: stress-strain relationship given by the elastic parameters

(moduli) of the rocks – measure of strength/rigidity of the rocks

ΔL: under 3D pressure: to shearing:

long. stress (F/A) volume stress (P) shear stress (τ)

ψ= K= µ=

long. strain (ΔL/L) vol. change (ΔV/V) shear strain

(tan θ)

Can show: ψ=K+ µ

3 deform à larger ψ, K, and µ

F

P-wave:

a longitudinal wave

(another: sound wave)

4

ψ=K+ µ

3

1

1 & 4 # 2

&ψ# 2 $K+ µ!

VP = $$ !! =$ 3 !

%ρ" $ ρ !

$ !

% "

S-wave:

F

(rotated 90°)

1

&µ# 2

VS = $$ !!

%ρ"

P-waves 1

S-waves

1

" 4 % 2

$K + µ' "µ % 2

VP = $ 3 ' VS = $ '

$ ρ ' #ρ&

# &

• stronger material à larger ψ, K, and µ à larger VP and VS

• VP and VS do not depend on frequency (non-dispersive)

• in fluids, µ=0 (and K>0) à only P-waves travel through fluids (VS =0)

Poisson’s Ratio (σ)

• can show: 1

! VP & 2(1 − σ )# 2

=$

! VS % (1 − 2σ )!"

• in consolidated crustal rocks, σ ~0.25 à VP/VS ~1.7

• Poisson’s ratio is strongly affected by the presence of fluids,

possibly age.

Global Observations

felsic rocks: < 0.25

Mafic is used for silicate minerals, magmas, and rocks which are relatively high in the heavier elements,

magnesium, iron, sodium, calcium.

Felsic rocks is used for silicate minerals, magmas, and rocks which have a lower percentage of the

)21

heavier elements, and are correspondingly enriched in the lighter elements, such as silicon and oxygen,

aluminum, and potassium

Factors that control VP of rocks (m/s)

Air 340

• density and elastic moduli

Water 1400-1600

depend primarily on composition

Petroleum 1300-1400

!

Sand (unsaturated) 200-1000

Sandstones • VP increases as rocks become

more mafic (granite-gabbro-

Tertiary 2000-2500 ultramafic)

Carboniferous 4000-4500

1

Limestones 1 & 4 # 2

$K+ µ!

Cretaceous 2000-2500 &ψ# 2

3 !

VP = $$ !! =$

Jurassic 3000-4000 %ρ" $ ρ !

$ !

% "

Carboniferous 5000-5500

Salt 4500-5000

Granite 5000-6000

Basalt 5400-6400

Ultramafic rocks 7500-8500

)23

from www.talkorigins.org

Factors that control VP of rocks (m/s)

Air 340

• sedimentary rocks tend to

Water 1400-1600

have lower VP

Petroleum 1300-1400

à depends mostly on the

Sand (unsaturated) 200-1000

porosity of the rocks

Sandstones

Tertiary 2000-2500

Carboniferous 4000-4500 VP increases with age à

increase in rigidity with

Limestones cementation

Cretaceous 2000-2500

Jurassic 3000-4000

Carboniferous 5000-5500

Salt 4500-5000

Granite 5000-6000

Basalt 5400-6400

Ultramafic rocks 7500-8500

Effect of porosity on velocity

• rock is composed of rock matrix and pore

space (often filled with fluid/air that has low

velocity)

• porosity (Φ) is the fractional volume occupied

by pore space

• velocity decreases with increasing Φ

(Sherriff and

Geldart, 1995)

Effect of porosity on velocity

• the overall rock properties are the average of the matrix (m) and pore

fluid (f) properties, weighted by Φ

• EXAMPLE: for density: ρ = ρf Φ + (1- Φ) ρm

!

• for velocity: weight by the amount of time that seismic wave spends in the

rock matrix and pore fluid (v = d/t à t = d/v)

time-average 1 Φ (1 − Φ )

= +

equation: VP Vf Vm

)26

Effect of depth on seismic velocity

• seismic velocities generally increase with

depth:

• increased compaction – reduces pore

space

• elastic moduli increase with pressure

(http://gsc.nrcan.gc.ca/gashydrates/

westvanisland/index_e.php)

Example questions

m/s). If VP is 3200 m/s for the rock matrix, what is the P-

wave velocity of the rock?

time-average 1 Φ (1 − Φ )

equation:

= +

VP Vf Vm

Example questions

2. Gas-filled sandstone:

Sandstone matrix 4300 m/s

Gas pore fluid 300 m/s

If the overall VP is 2200 m/s, what is the porosity?

time-average 1 Φ (1 − Φ )

= +

equation: VP Vf Vm

Factors that affect seismic wave amplitude

Seismic exploration:

Subsurface

amplitude of velocity

geology

seismic waves structure

between source and receiver:

1. Geometrical spreading

2. Multipathing

3. Scattering

4. Intrinsic attenuation

(AND…as waves pass into different materials, partitioning of

energy at the interface affects amplitude....Sections 4.1 and 4.2)

Imagine a light source (seismic source):

to heat due to anelasticity (e.g.,

friction near grain boundaries)

to growing wave front

surface area

slow

wavelength ~ particle

dimension Multipathing due to high & low

velocity bodies (ala Fermat)

1. Geometrical spreading (spherical divergence)

out from a point source

(e.g., explosion) as a

spherical wavefront

• the energy at a point on the sphere surface is: E(r) = E0 / 4πr2

(where r is the distance from the source)

• amplitude of a seismic wave is related to energy: E(r) α A2

• since E(r) α 1/r2 à A2 α 1/r2 à A α 1/r

à in order to conserve energy, seismic wave amplitude must

decrease by 1/r

Body wave propagation

One person’s noise is

another person’s signal.

This is certainly true for

what surface waves

mean to an exploration

geophysicist and to a

global seismologist

Amplitude decay in surface

waves (as a function of r) is

less than that of body wave ---

(by square root of r), the

main reason that we always

find larger surface waves than

body waves, especially at 33

long distances.

2. Attenuation (absorption)

• small fraction of seismic energy is converted to frictional heat

• loss of energy = decrease in amplitude

• characterize this with the “quality factor” (Q):

!

2πE

! Q=

! ΔE

• Q is a measure of the fractional loss of energy per cycle (oscillation)

of the seismic wave

• high Q mean little energy loss

• can show that the loss of energy will cause an exponential decrease

in seismic wave amplitude over time (t):

! − πft

Q

! A( t ) = A 0 e

(e is the exponential constant 2.718)

• note that this is a function of frequency

• higher frequency = more cycles per second = more energy lost

• can also write in terms of distance traveled by wave (x):

! − πx

Qλ

! A( x ) = A 0 e

!

à amplitude decays more rapidly for: low Q or high f (short λ)

(Material) (Seismic wave)

Example of attenuation:

Common approach to calculate Q

Interpretation 1: Suppose A0 represents wave amplitude, then

ln(A)

A = A0e−bt = A0e−ω 0 t /(2Q )

$ω 0 '

ln(A) = ln(A0 ) − & )t

%2Q(

€ intercept slope

t

€

Star Track

!

The Q

)37

The Earth is more

attenuating than the

Moon.

!

Problem: where are

P, S, Surf. waves?

)38

(Kearey et al., 2002)

• seismic sources release energy

over a wide range of frequencies

• as wave travels, the high frequency

components will be more strongly

attenuated

• over time, wave is dominated by

low frequency (long wavelength)

components à seismic wave will

become smoother and more spread

out over time

(similar to thunder)

• QP > QS à energy loss caused mostly by shear deformation

3. Scattering

• most materials contain small heterogeneities

• grains, mineral boundaries, pore edges, cracks, etc.

• some seismic energy is scattered when it encounters these features

• therefore amplitude will decrease

Wavelength effect demonstrated for P wave coda. People use source spectrum

to analyze the coda and obtain information about Q and scatters about a given

path

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