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An algorithm for fast elastic wave simulation using a vectorized finite difference operator

Malkoti, Ajay, Vedanti, Nimisha, Tiwari, Ram Krishna
Computers & geosciences 2018 v.116 pp. 23-31
algorithms, computer software, computers, equations, geophysics, image analysis, mathematical models
Modern geophysical imaging techniques exploit the full wavefield information which can be simulated numerically. These numerical simulations are computationally expensive due to several factors, such as a large number of time steps and nodes, big size of the derivative stencil and huge model size. Besides these constraints, it is also important to reformulate the numerical derivative operator for improved efficiency. In this paper, we have introduced a vectorized derivative operator over the staggered grid with shifted coordinate systems. The operator increases the efficiency of simulation by exploiting the fact that each variable can be represented in the form of a matrix. This operator allows updating all nodes of a variable defined on the staggered grid, in a manner similar to the collocated grid scheme and thereby reducing the computational run-time considerably. Here we demonstrate an application of this operator to simulate the seismic wave propagation in elastic media (Marmousi model), by discretizing the equations on a staggered grid. We have compared the performance of this operator on three programming languages, which reveals that it can increase the execution speed by a factor of at least 2–3 times for FORTRAN and MATLAB; and nearly 100 times for Python. We have further carried out various tests in MATLAB to analyze the effect of model size and the number of time steps on total simulation run-time. We find that there is an additional, though small, computational overhead for each step and it depends on total number of time steps used in the simulation. A MATLAB code package, ’FDwave’, for the proposed simulation scheme is available upon request.