Sparsity-promoting method to estimate the dispersion curve of surface-wave group velocity

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Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences


Group velocity is an important characteristic of surface wave that is defined as the velocity of an envelope of frequencies. Although many studies have shown the promises of analyzing the group velocity to obtain subsurface S-wave velocity, the estimation of the group velocity is not straightforward due to the uncertainties of selecting an optimum envelope of frequencies. Conventional transformations or filtering algorithms used to define an optimum envelope usually give reasonable results just for a narrow frequency or velocity range. We introduced a new approach for the estimation of the group velocity using the sparse S transform (SST) and sparse linear Radon transform (SLRT). In SST, the width of the Gaussian window is optimally calculated by energy concentration to eliminate energy smearing in the time-frequency (TF) domain, and then the sparsity is applied to enhance the TF resolution. Compared with conventional methods for the estimation of the group velocity based on the generalized S transforms, SST does not require any adjustment to the Gaussian window and yields accurate estimates of the group velocity. We apply SST to each seismic trace of a seismic shot record to obtain a 3D cube of frequency, time, and offset. For any frequency, we obtain a common frequency gather of time and offset to which we apply SLRT to obtain the group velocity of the surface wave. Our approach is robust at calculating high-resolution distinguishable dispersion curves of the group velocity in particular when data are extremely sparse.

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