A Caltech Library Service

Finite-frequency sensitivity of body waves to anisotropy based upon adjoint methods

Sieminski, Anne and Liu, Qinya and Trampert, Jeannot and Tromp, Jeroen (2007) Finite-frequency sensitivity of body waves to anisotropy based upon adjoint methods. Geophysical Journal International, 171 (1). pp. 368-389. ISSN 0956-540X.

See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We investigate the sensitivity of finite-frequency body-wave observables to mantle anisotropy based upon kernels calculated by combining adjoint methods and spectral-element modelling of seismic wave propagation. Anisotropy is described by 21 density-normalized elastic parameters naturally involved in asymptotic wave propagation in weakly anisotropic media. In a 1-D reference model, body-wave sensitivity to anisotropy is characterized by ‘banana–doughnut’ kernels which exhibit large, path-dependent variations and even sign changes. P-wave travel-times appear much more sensitive to certain azimuthally anisotropic parameters than to the usual isotropic parameters, suggesting that isotropic P-wave tomography could be significantly biased by coherent anisotropic structures, such as slabs. Because of shear-wave splitting, the common cross-correlation travel-time anomaly is not an appropriate observable for S waves propagating in anisotropic media. We propose two new observables for shear waves. The first observable is a generalized cross-correlation travel-time anomaly, and the second a generalized ‘splitting intensity’. Like P waves, S waves analysed based upon these observables are generally sensitive to a large number of the 21 anisotropic parameters and show significant path-dependent variations. The specific path-geometry of SKS waves results in favourable properties for imaging based upon the splitting intensity, because it is sensitive to a smaller number of anisotropic parameters, and the region which is sampled is mainly limited to the upper mantle beneath the receiver.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Tromp, Jeroen0000-0002-2742-8299
Additional Information:©2007 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2007 RAS. Accepted 2007 June 20. Received 2007 June 15; in original form 2007 March 19. We thank Sonja Greve, Martha Savage, an anonymous reviewer and editor Cindy Ebinger for helpful comments and suggestions. The adjoint spectral-element computations discussed in this paper were performed on Caltech's Division of Geological & Planetary Sciences Dell cluster. The source code for the adjoint spectral-element simulations is freely available from We gratefully acknowledge support from the European Commission's Human Resources and Mobility Programme, Marie Curie Research Training Networks, FP6 and by the National Science Foundation under grant EAR-0309576. This is contribution no 9170 of the Division of Geological & Planetary Sciences of the California Institute of Technology.
Subject Keywords:adjoint methods, bodywaves, Frechet derivatives, seismic anisotropy, sensitivity, shear-wave splitting
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:SIEgji07
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:9583
Deposited By: Lindsay Cleary
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

Repository Staff Only: item control page