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Reflection and transmission coefficients of a thin bed

Abstract

The study of thin-bed seismic response is an important part in lithologic and methane reservoir modeling, critical for predicting their physical attributes and/or elastic parameters. The complex propagator matrix for the exact reflections and transmissions of thin beds limits their application in thin-bed inversion. Therefore, approximation formulas with a high accuracy and a relatively simple form are needed for thin-bed seismic analysis and inversion. We have derived thin-bed reflection and transmission coefficients, defined in terms of displacements, and approximated them to be in a quasi-Zoeppritz matrix form under the assumption that the middle layer has a very thin thickness. We have verified the approximation accuracy through numerical calculation and concluded that the errors in PP-wave reflection coefficients RPP are generally smaller than 10% when the thin-bed thicknesses are smaller than one-eighth of the PP-wavelength. The PS-wave reflection coefficients RPS have lower approximation accuracy than RPP for the same ratios of thicknesses to their respective wavelengths, and the RPS approximation is not acceptable for incident angles approaching the critical angles (when they exist) except in the case of extremely strong impedance difference. Errors in phase for the RPP and RPS approximation are less than 10% for the cases of thicknesses less than one-tenth of the wavelengths. As expected, a thinner middle layer and a weaker impedance difference would result in higher approximation accuracy

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