Spherical wave AVO response of isotropic and anisotropic media: Laboratory experiment versus numerical simulations
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A spherical wave AVO response is investigated by measuring ultrasonic reflection amplitudes from a water/Plexiglas interface. The experimental results show substantial deviation from the plane-wave reflection coefficients at large angles. However there is an excellent agreement between experimental data and full-wave numerical simulations performed with the reflectivity algorithm. By comparing the spherical-wave AVO response, modeled with different frequencies, to the plane-wave response, I show that the differences between the two are of such magnitude that three-term AVO inversion based on AVA curvature can be erroneous. I then propose an alternative approach to use critical angle information extracted from AVA curves, and show that this leads to a significant improvement of the estimation of elastic parameters. Azimuthal variation of the AVO response of a vertically fractured model also shows good agreement with anisotropic reflectivity simulations, especially in terms of extracted critical angles which indicated that (1) reflection measurements are consistent with the transmission measurements; (2) the anisotropic numerical simulation algorithm is capable of simulating subtle azimuthal variations with excellent accuracy; (3) the methodology of picking critical angles on seismograms using the inflection point is robust, even in the presence of random and/or systematic noise.
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