HTI Explorer

Quick Links


You will need to have the Java runtime environment (JRE) installed on your computer in order to use this software. As of Java Version 7 Update 51, you will also need to add to the Java Exception Site List. This has been tested in Windows 10 using Microsoft Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox.

To start the HTI Explorer click on the 'Launch' button above.

This Explorer can display the azimuthal dependence of reflection coefficients for an interface between two HTI media. Either or both of the layers may be specified as isotropic as well. Both exact and linearized reflection coefficients may be displayed.

Version History

The original version was first placed on the Internet on November 26, 2007.

Technical Notes

Conventional Thomsen coefficients, γ, δ, and ε, are used to define the anisotropy. Thus the P-wave and S-wave velocities supplied as input refer to the horizontal velocities along the symmetry axis. Velocities in other directions are then derived from these using the Thomsen coefficients. Note that Ruger and Tsvankin (1997) have also defined parameters such as δ(V) and ε(V) which can be related to the Thomsen coefficients and which can be used in connection with HTI. They are not used in the present version of this Explorer, but may be incorporated as options in future versions.

The plot shows how the reflection coefficients change with azimuthal angle of incidence. To see how the coefficients change with polar angle of incidence or with the elastic properties of each medium, use features in the control panel to change these parameters. These may be fixed to particular values in the text fields, or interactively scanned over a range of values using the slider bars. Drop down menus allow you to explore other useful combinations of these variables as well, such as differences and ratios. Note that you are not prevented from selecting unphysical values of parameters.

The results are plotted in modified polar form. The magnitude is shown as positive or negative in order that the phase will always be zero below the first critical angle, and as continuous as possible beyond that. (The phase below the first critical angle is not plotted in this routine. It is always zero or pi in this region for standard polar form [when magnitudes are always positive].) Either magnitude or phase may be deselected for plotting using checkboxes at the bottom of the control panel. The first quantity is plotted with a solid line and the second with a dashed line.

Any of the scales may be adjusted using the control panel. Angles may only be adjusted to integer numbers of degrees, and the incident angles must be between 0° and 90°.

The locations of critical angles are indicated by vertical lines, which are annotated with the value of the critical angle, and the relevant velocity conditions.

The current implementation of the exact HTI solution suffers from two shortcomings. One is that values past the critical angle are not currently calculated. The other is that it experiences numerical instability near angles of 0° and 90°. Fixing these defects will be an objective of future versions.


  1. Zoeppritz and Aki-Richards: A standard reference is Aki & Richards (1980) “Quantitative Seismology”, vol. I, sec. 5.2.
  2. Thomsen coefficients: Thomsen, 1987, "Weak elastic anisotropy", Geophysics, 51, 1954-1966.
  3. HTI Exact: Schoenberg & Protazio, 1992, "'Zoeppritz' rationalized and generalized to anisotropy", Journal of Seismic Exploration, 1, 125-144.
  4. HTI Linearized: Ruger and Tsvankin, 1997, "Using AVO for fracture detection: Analytic basis and practical solutions", The Leading Edge, October, 713-722.

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