Surface waves are widely used to model shear-wave velocity of the subsurface. Surface wave tomography (SWT) has recently gained popularity for near-surface studies. Some researchers have used straight-ray SWT in which it is assumed that surface waves propagate along the straight line between receiver pairs. Alternatively, curved-ray SWT can be employed by computing the paths between the receiver pairs using a ray-tracing algorithm. The SWT is a well-established method in seismology and has been employed in numerous seismological studies. However, it is important to make a comparison between these two SWT approaches for near-surface applications since the amount of information and the level of complexity in near-surface applications are different from seismological studies. We apply straight-ray and curved-ray SWT to four near-surface examples and compare the results in terms of the quality of the final model and the computational cost. In three examples we optimise the shot positions to obtain an acquisition layout which can produce high coverage of dispersion curves. In the other example, the data have been acquired using a typical seismic exploration 3D acquisition scheme. We show that if the source positions are optimised, the straight-ray can produce S-wave velocity models similar to the curved-ray SWT but with lower computational cost than the curved-ray approach. Otherwise, the improvement of inversion results from curved-ray SWT can be significant.

@en