Full‐Waveform Inversion of High‐Frequency Teleseismic Body Waves Based on Multiple Plane‐Wave Incidence: Methods and Practical Applications

Publication type

Journal Article

Research Area



Teleseismic full‐waveform inversion has recently been applied to image subwavelength‐scale lithospheric structures (typically a few tens of kilometers) by utilizing hybrid methods in which an efficient solver for the 1D background model is coupled with a full numerical solver for a small 3D target region. Among these hybrid methods, the coupling of the frequency–wavenumber technique with the spectral element method is one of the most computationally efficient ones. However, it is normally based on a single plane‐wave incidence, and thus cannot synthesize secondary global phases generated at interfaces outside the target area. To remedy the situation, we propose to use a multiple plane‐wave injection method to include secondary global phases in the hybrid modeling. We investigate the performance of the teleseismic full‐waveform inversion based on single and multiple plane‐wave incidence through an application in the western Pyrenees and compare it with previously published images and the inversion based on a global hybrid method. In addition, we also test the influence of Earth’s spherical curvature on the tomographic results. Our results demonstrate that the teleseismic full‐waveform inversion based on a single plane‐wave incidence can reveal complex lithospheric structures similar to those imaged using a global hybrid method and is reliable for practical tomography for small regions with an aperture of a few hundred kilometers. However, neglecting the Earth’s spherical curvature and secondary phases leads to errors on the recovered amplitudes of velocity anomalies (e.g., about 2.8% difference for density and VS⁠, and 4.2% for VP on average). These errors can be reduced by adopting a spherical mesh and injecting multiple plane waves in the frequency–wavenumber‐based hybrid method. The proposed plane‐wave teleseismic full‐waveform inversion is promising for mapping subwavelength‐scale seismic structures using high‐frequency teleseismic body waves (⁠>1Hz⁠) including coda waves recorded at large N seismic arrays.


applications, Aquitaine Basin arrays, Body waves, coda waves, computer programs, data processing, Earthquakes, Ebro Basin, elastic waves, Europe, focus, France, frequency, guided waves, high-resolution methods, Iberian Peninsula, inverse problem, one-dimensional models, plane waves, propagation, Pyrenees, seismic waves, Southern Europe, Spain, surface waves, teleseismic signals, three-dimensional models, velocity, waveforms, Western Europe, western Pyrenees

Publication Details


Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America

Date Published


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