Scattering of Seismic Waves by Cracks with the Boundary Integral Method

Research paper by K. Yomogida, R. Benites

Indexed on: 01 Jul '02Published on: 01 Jul '02Published in: Pure and Applied Geophysics


— We develop a new scheme to compute 2-D SH seismograms for media with many flat cracks, based on the boundary integral method. A dry or traction-free boundary condition is applied to crack surfaces although other kinds of cracks such as wet or fluid-saturated cracks can be treated simply by assigning different boundary conditions. While body forces are distributed for cavities or inclusions to express scattered wave, dislocations (or displacement discontinuities between the top and the bottom surfaces of each crack) are used as fictitious sources along crack surfaces. With these dislocations as unknown coefficients, the scattered wave is expressed by the normal derivative of Green's function along the crack surface, which is called “double-layer potentials” in the boundary integral method, while we used “single-layer potentials” for cavities or inclusions. These unknowns are determined so that boundary conditions or crack surfaces are satisfied in the least-squared sense, for example, traction-free for dry cracks. Seismograms with plane-wave incidence are synthesized for homogeneous media with many cracks. First, we check the accuracy of our scheme for a medium with one long crack. All the predicted phases such as reflected wave, diffraction from a crack tip and shadow behind the crack are simulated quite accurately, under the same criterion as in the case for cavities or inclusions. Next, we compute seismograms for 50 randomly distributed cracks and compare them with those for circular cavities. When cracks are randomly oriented, waveforms and the strength of scattering attenuation are similar to the cavity case in a frequency range higher than kd\(\simeq\) 2 where the size of scatterers d (i.e., crack length or cavity diameter) is comparable with the wavelength considered (k is the wavenumber). On the other hand, the scattering attenuation for cracks becomes much smaller in a lower frequency range (kd<2) because only the volume but not detail geometry of scatterers becomes important with wavelength much longer than each scatterer. When all the cracks are oriented in a fixed direction, the scattering attenuation depends strongly on the incident angle to the crack surface as frequency increases (kd>2): scattering becomes weak for cracks oriented parallel to the direction of the incident wave, while it gets close to the cavity case for cracks aligned perpendicular to the incident wave.