I choose Van Trier's method to solve the eikonal equation in the polar
coordinates because this
method gives the traveltime derivatives that appear in the orthogonal
equation. If Vidale's method is used, these derivatives have to be numerically
computed from the traveltime field. Once the traveltime derivatives are known,
equation (4) becomes a first-order, linear partial-differential
equation and is readily solved using the standard finite-difference techniques.
After *p* has been computed, the coordinates of the ray that connects the
source location to any given point can be found by tracing the contour line
starting from the given point. It is guaranteed that all contour lines of
field *p* will end at the source location.

I test the method on a synthetic slowness model. The results are shown in Figure . The raster images of the synthetic slowness model are overlain with the wavefronts and rays. The wavefronts are plotted at a constant time-interval. The rays are traced to the destinations distributed uniformly along the boundaries of the model. The ray-bending effects are clearly seen.

Figure 1

12/18/1997