Inverse scattering and wave-equation tomography - Imaging Earth's deep interior

School of Mathematics Colloquium
Thursday, March 4, 2010 - 11:00
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 269
Department of Mathematics, Purdue University
Much research in modern, quantitative seismology is motivated -- on the one hand -- by the need to understand subsurface structures and processes on a wide range of length scales, and -- on the other hand -- by the availability of ever growing volumes of high fidelity digital data from modern seismograph networks or multicomponent acquisition systems developed for hydro-carbon exploration, and access to increasingly powerful computational facilities. We discuss (elastic-wave) inverse scattering of reflection seismic data, wave-equation tomography, and their interconnection using techniques from microlocal analysis and applied harmonic analysis. We introduce a multi-scale approach and present a framework of partial reconstruction in connection with limited boundary acquisition geometry. The formation of caustics leads to one of the complications which will be discussed. We illustrate various aspects of this research program with examples from global seismology and mineral physics coupled to thermo-chemical convection.