The study of thin-bed seismic phenomena is important in crustal, exploration and engineering seismology. Presently, seismic reflectivity theories based on single-interface assumption are widely used though they are only suitable for thick deposits. Thin-bed reflectivity theories are established on complex propagator matrices and are difficult to be applied to reveal thin-bed properties directly. Therefore, an approximation of thin-bed PP-wave reflection coefficients (RPP
) is derived in this paper. First, the relationship between thin-bed RPP
and incidence angles is analyzed through series expansion method. For PP-wave, its reflection coefficients are even power series functions of sine incidence angles. Then, for small incidence, RPP
of the thin bed is further simplified into a second-order series approximation with respect to the sine incidence angles. Simulations and accuracy analyses of the approximate formula show that approximation errors are smaller than 5% as the incidence angles smaller than 20 degrees. Based on this approximate formula, an approach is given for estimating thin-bed properties including P-wave impedance ratios and thickness. The estimation approach is applied in properties estimation of a thin bed model. Perfect performances of the model example show the future potentiality of the approximate formula in thin-bed Amplitude-Versus-Offset (AVO) analysis and inversion.
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