Numerical simulation of wave propagation in poroelastic media demands significantly more computational capability compared to elastic media simulation. Use of serial codes in a single scientific workstation limits the size of problem. To overcome this difficulty, a parallel velocity-stress staggered-grid finite-difference method is developed for efficient simulation of wave propagation in 2-D poroelastic media. The finite difference formulation of Biot's theory has the properties of fourth order accuracy in space and second order accuracy in time. The model is decomposed into small subdomains for each processor. After each processor updates wavefields within its domain, the processors exchange the wavefields via message passing interface (MPI). The parallel implementation reduces the computational time and also allows one to study larger problems. From our numerical experiment, consistent with other I-D experiments, it is found that the presence of heterogeneity of porous medium can produce significant P-wave attenuation in the seismic frequency range. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.