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SPICE benchmark for global tomographic methods

Abstract : The existing global tomographic methods result in different models due to different parametrization, scale resolution and theoretical approach. To test how current imaging techniques are limited by approximations in theory and by the inadequacy of data quality and coverage, it is necessary to perform a global-scale benchmark to understand the resolving properties of each specific imaging algorithm. In the framework of the Seismic wave Propagation and Imaging in Complex media: a Eu-ropean network (SPICE) project, it was decided to perform a benchmark experiment of global inversion algorithms. First, a preliminary benchmark with a simple isotropic model is carried out to check the feasibility in terms of acquisition geometry and numerical accuracy. Then, to fully validate tomographic schemes with a challenging synthetic data set, we constructed one complex anisotropic global model, which is characterized by 21 elastic constants and includes 3-D heterogeneities in velocity, anisotropy (radial and azimuthal anisotropy), attenuation, density , as well as surface topography and bathymetry. The intermediate-period (>32 s), high fidelity anisotropic modelling was performed by using state-of-the-art anisotropic anelastic modelling code, that is, coupled spectral element method (CSEM), on modern massively parallel computing resources. The benchmark data set consists of 29 events and three-component seismograms are recorded by 256 stations. Because of the limitation of the available computing power, synthetic seismograms have a minimum period of 32s and a length of 10500s. The inversion of the benchmark data set demonstrates several well-known problems of classical surface wave tomography, such as the importance of crustal correction to recover the shallow structures, the loss of resolution with depth, the smearing effect, both horizontal and vertical, the inaccuracy of amplitude of isotropic S-wave velocity variation, the difficulty of retrieving the magnitude of azimuthal anisotropy and so on. The synthetic data set can be used to validate and calibrate new processing methodologies and has been made available to the scientific community at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP) website (∼qyl). Any group wishing to test their tomographic algorithm is encouraged to download the synthetic data.
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Yilong Qin, Yann Capdeville, Valerie Maupin, Jean-Paul Montagner, Sergei Lebedev, et al.. SPICE benchmark for global tomographic methods. Geophysical Journal International, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2008, 175 (2), pp.598-616. ⟨10.1111/j.1365-246X.2008.03904.x⟩. ⟨insu-01400819⟩



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