Application of the Wasserstein metric to seismic signals

Björn Engquist, Brittany D. Froese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Scopus citations


Seismic signals are typically compared using travel time difference or L2 difference. We propose the Wasserstein metric as an alternative measure of fidelity or misfit in seismology. It exhibits properties from both of the traditional measures mentioned above. The numerical computation is based on the recent development of fast numerical methods for the Monge-Ampère equation and optimal transport. Applications to waveform inversion and registration are discussed and simple numerical examples are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979-988
Number of pages10
JournalCommunications in Mathematical Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Optimal transport
  • Registration
  • Seismology
  • Wasserstein metric
  • Waveform inversion


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