Review paper: Virtual sources and their responses, Part I: time-reversal acoustics and seismic interferometry
K. Wapenaar and J. Thorbecke
Journal name: Geophysical Prospecting
Issue: Vol 65, No 6, November 2017 pp. 1411 - 1429
Info: Article, PDF ( 6.35Mb )
A focusing acoustic wave field, emitted into a medium from its boundary, converges to a focal spot around the designated focal point. Subsequently, the focused field acts as a virtual source that emits a field propagating away from the focal point, mimicking the response to a real source at the position of the focal point. In this first part of a two-part review paper on virtual sources and their responses, we define the focusing wave field as the time reversal of an observed point-source response. This approach underlies time-reversal acoustics and seismic interferometry. We analyse the propagation of a time-reversed point-source response through an inhomogeneous medium, paying particular attention to the effect of internal multiples.We investigate the differences between emitting the focusing field from a closed boundary and from an open boundary, and we analyse in detail the properties of the virtual source. Whereas emitting the time-reversed field from a closed boundary yields an accurate isotropic virtual source, emitting the field from an open boundary leads to a highly directional virtual source and significant artefacts related to multiple scattering. The latter problems are addressed in Part II, where we define the focusing wave field as an inverse filter that accounts for primaries and multiples.