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This paper presents a survey of the development and use of first order elastic scattering theory in seismology. The various methods used to provide expressions for scattered waves from variations in structure are shown to lead to a single scattering formula. A ray theory approximation for the incident and scattered waves provides a simple formula from which the radiation patterns of different types of scatterer can be derived. As an illustration, the solution for a homogeneous 'average' structure is given in detail. The statistical properties of the signal in time are clearly related to those of the scatterers in space and, in particular, the correlation time of the signal is related to the correlation distance of the scatterers. The paper ends with a discussion of the possible use of first order (weak scattering) theory in cases when the scattered signals are large.
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