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Multiple arrivals may reach a subsurface point. Whereas some arrivals
are identifiable by the kinematics of seismic waves, other arrivals
have to be identified by the dynamics of seismic waves. Therefore,
the attributes of a wavefront should include both the kinematic parameters
and the dynamic parameters of seismic waves.

The local ray-tracing method uses five wavefront attributes in the
process of wavefront propagation. They are

| |
(3) |

where is the traveltime for a wave to propagate from a surface point
to a subsurface point, is the traveltime-gradient
vector that points to the direction of the wave propagation at the subsurface
point, is the take-off angle of the ray connecting the surface point
and the subsurface point,
*R* is the curvature radius of the wavefront at the
subsurface point, and finally, *J* is the geometrical spreading factor
(see its definition in Cervený, 1981b)
at the subsurface point. Among these attributes, , (*u*,*w*) and
are related to the kinematics of wave propagation, whereas
*R* and *J* are related to the dynamics.

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Stanford Exploration Project

11/17/1997