A scalar radiative transfer model including the coupling between surface and body waves

12 Jul 2019  ·  Margerin Ludovic IRAP, Bajaras Andres LGIT, Campillo Michel LGIT ·

To describe the energy transport in the seismic coda, we introduce a system of radiative transfer equations for coupled surface and body waves in a scalar approximation. Our model is based on the Helmholtz equation in a half-space geometry with mixed boundary conditions. In this model, Green's function can be represented as a sum of body waves and surface waves, which mimics the situation on Earth. In a first step, we study the single-scattering problem for point-like objects in the Born approximation. Using the assumption that the phase of body waves is randomized by surface reflection or by interaction with the scatterers, we show that it becomes possible to define, in the usual manner, the cross-sections for surface-to-body and body-to-surface scattering. Adopting the independent scattering approximation, we then define the scattering mean free paths of body and surface waves including the coupling between the two types of waves. Using a phenomenological approach, we then derive a set of coupled transport equations satisfied by the specific energy density of surface and body waves in a medium containing a homogeneous distribution of point scatterers. In our model, the scattering mean free path of body waves is depth dependent as a consequence of the body-to-surface coupling. We demonstrate that an equipartition between surface and body waves is established at long lapse-time, with a ratio which is predicted by usual mode counting arguments. We derive a diffusion approximation from the set of transport equations and show that the diffusivity is both anisotropic and depth dependent. The physical origin of the two properties is discussed. Finally, we present Monte-Carlo solutions of the transport equations which illustrate the convergence towards equipartition at long lapse-time as well as the importance of the coupling between surface and body waves in the generation of coda waves.

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Geophysics Computational Physics