On the correlation of non-isotropically distributed ballistic scalar diffuse waves

J Acoust Soc Am. 2009 Oct;126(4):1817-26. doi: 10.1121/1.3203359.

Abstract

Theorems indicating that a fully equipartitioned random wave field will have correlations equivalent to the Green's function that would be obtained in an active measurement are now legion. Studies with seismic waves, ocean acoustics, and laboratory ultrasound have confirmed them. So motivated, seismologists have evaluated apparent seismic travel times in correlations of ambient seismic noise and tomographically constructed impressive maps of seismic wave velocity. Inasmuch as the random seismic waves used in these evaluations are usually not fully equipartitioned, it seems right to ask why it works so well, or even if the results are trustworthy. The error, in apparent travel time, due to non-isotropic specific intensity is evaluated here in a limit of large receiver-receiver separation and for the case in which the source of the noise is in the far field of both receivers. It is shown that the effect is small, even for cases in which one might have considered the anisotropy to be significant, and even for station pairs separated by as little as one or two wavelengths. A formula is derived that permits estimations of error and corrections to apparent travel time. It is successfully compared to errors seen in synthetic waveforms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't