Simulation and Inversion of Seismic Wave Propagation on Continental Scales Based on a Spectral-Element Method

Keywords: seismic tomography, spectral-element method, adjoint-method, Australia

Abstract: We propose a novel technique for seismic waveform tomography on continental
scales. This is based on the fully numerical simulation of wave propagation in complex
Earth models, the inversion of complete waveforms and the quantification of the waveform
discrepancies through a specially designed phase misfit. The numerical solution of the
equations of motion allows us to overcome the limitations of ray theory and of finite normal
mode summations. Thus, we can expect the tomographic models to be more realistic and
physically consistent. Moreover, inverting entire waveforms reduces the non-uniqueness
of the tomographic problem. Following the theoretical descriptions of the forward and
inverse problem solutions, we present preliminary results for the upper mantle structure in
the Australasian region.


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