The resolution of a multiparameter full-waveform inversion (FWI) is highly influenced by the parameterization used in the inversion algorithm, as well as the data quality and the sensitivity of the data to the elastic parameters because the scattering patterns of the partial derivative wavefields (PDWs) vary with parameterization. For this reason, it is important to identify an optimal parameterization for elastic orthorhombic FWI by analyzing the radiation patterns of the PDWs for many reasonable model parameterizations. We have promoted a parameterization that allows for the separation of the anisotropic properties in the radiation patterns. The central parameter of this parameterization is the horizontal P-wave velocity, with an isotropic scattering potential, influencing the data at all scales and directions. This parameterization decouples the influence of the scattering potential given by the P-wave velocity perturbation fromthe polar changes described by two dimensionless parameter perturbations and from the azimuthal variation given by three additional dimensionless parameters perturbations. In addition, the scattering potentials of the P-wave velocity perturbation are also decoupled from the elastic influences given by one S-wave velocity and two additional dimensionless parameter perturbations. The vertical S-wave velocity is chosen with the best resolution obtained from S-wave reflections and converted waves, little influence on P-waves in conventional surface seismic acquisition. The influence of the density on observed data can be absorbed by one anisotropic parameter that has a similar radiation pattern. The additional seven dimensionless parameters describe the polar and azimuth variations in the P- and S-waves that we may acquire, with some of the parameters having distinct influences on the recorded data on the earth's surface. These characteristics of the new parameterization offer the potential for a multistage inversion from high symmetry anisotropy to lower symmetry ones. © 2016 Society of Exploration Geophysicists.