Tomography without rays

C. J. Ammon, J. E. Vidale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Two new techniques are presented for the inversion of first-arrival times to estimate velocity structure. These travel-time inversion techniques are unique in that they do not require the calculation of ray paths. First-arrival times are calculated using a finite-difference scheme that iteratively solves the eikonal equations for the position of the wavefront. The first inversion technique is a direct extension of linearized waveform inversion schemes. The nonlinear relationship between the observed first-arrival times and the model slowness is linearized using a Taylor series expansion and a solution is found by iteration. For a series of two-dimensional numerical tests, with and without random noise, this travel-time inversion procedure accurately reconstructed the synthetic test models. The second inversion technique is an application of simulated annealing to travel-time topography. The linearized inversion scheme outperforms the nonlinear simulated annealing approach. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-528
Number of pages20
JournalBulletin - Seismological Society of America
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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