20 June 2014
Seismology currently undergoes rapid and exciting advances fueled by a simultaneous surge in recorded data (in both quality and quantity), realistic wave-propagation algorithms, and supercomputing capabilities. This enables us to sample parameter spaces of relevance for imaging the Earth's interior 3D structure with fully numerical techniques. Seismic imaging is the prime approach to illuminate and understand global processes such as mantle convection, plate tectonics, geodynamo, the vigorous interior of the Sun, and delivers crucial constraints on our grasp of volcanism, the carbon cycle and seismicity. At local scales, seismic Earth models are inevitable for hydrocarbon exploration, monitoring of flow processes, and natural hazard assessment. \\ \\ With a slight focus on global-scale applications, I will present the underlying physical model of realistic wave propagation, its numerical discretization and link such forward modeling to updating Earth models by means of inverse modeling. The associated computational burden to solve high-resolution statistical inverse problems with precise numerical techniques is however entirely out of reach for decades to come. Consequently, seismologists need to take approximations in resolution, physics, data and/or inverse methodology. I will scan a number of such end-member approximations, and focus on our own approach to simultaneously treat wave physics realistically across the frequency band while maximizing data usage and allow for uncertainty quantification. This approach is motivated by decisive approximations on the model space for typical Earth structures and linearized inverse theory.
- Mathematical Geoscience Seminar