A 'wave stack' is any stack over a common shot or geophone gather in which the moveout is independent of time. It synthesizes a particular wavefront by superposition of the many spherical wavefronts of raw data. Unlike the common midpoint stack, wave stacks retain the important property of being the sampling of a wave field and, as such, permit wave-equation treatment of formerly difficult or impossible problems.Seismic sections of field data generated by wave stacks that synthesized slanted downgoing plane waves showed a similarity in appearance to the common midpoint stacks. In signal-to-noise ratio they lay between the single offset section and the midpoint stack. The angle selectivity of the slanted plane-wave stacks permitted detection of a reflector that was not visible on either the midpoint stack or the raw gathers.Simple velocity estimation in slant frame coordinates differs only in detail from standard frame coordinates. Because of the wave field character of data that have been slant plane-wave stacked, wave-equation techniques can be used to generalize migration and velocity estimation to regions in which exist a strong lateral velocity inhomogeneity within the distance of a cable spread.

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