Computational Geosciences

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 245–264 | Cite as

Finite-difference strategy for elastic wave modelling on curved staggered grids

  • C. A. Pérez Solano
  • D. Donno
  • H. Chauris


Waveform modelling is essential for seismic imaging and inversion. Because including more physical characteristics can potentially yield more accurate Earth models, we analyse strategies for elastic seismic wave propagation modelling including topography. We focus on using finite differences on modified staggered grids. Computational grids can be curved to fit the topography using distribution functions. With the chain rule, the elasto-dynamic formulation is adapted to be solved directly on curved staggered grids. The chain-rule approach is computationally less expensive than the tensorial approach for finite differences below the 6th order, but more expensive than the classical approach for flat topography (i.e. rectangular staggered grids). Free-surface conditions are evaluated and implemented according to the stress image method. Non-reflective boundary conditions are simulated via a Convolutional Perfect Matching Layer. This implementation does not generate spurious diffractions when the free-surface topography is not horizontal, as long as the topography is smoothly curved. Optimal results are obtained when the angle between grid lines at the free surface is orthogonal. The chain-rule implementation shows high accuracy when compared to the analytical solution in the case of the Lamb’s problem, Garvin’s problem and elastic interface.


Elastic wave propagation Seismic modelling Topography Curved grids 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre de GéosciencesMINES ParisTech PSL Research UniversityFontainebleauFrance
  2. 2.Shell Global Solutions International B.V.RijswijkThe Netherlands

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