Velocity information is essential to both common midpoint (CMP) stacking and migration. CMP stacking provides the basis for conventional velocity estimation techniques in that, for a number of trial velocities, the stack response of a CMP gather is computed and displayed in the form of a velocity table. An alternative approach to velocity estimation makes use of the basic ingredients of migration--downward extrapolation and imaging of seismic wave fields. The procedure involves migration of a CMP gather with a number of trial velocities and collection of the zero-offset information, again in the form of a velocity table. Operating on a CMP gather, the migration-based approach produces results similar to those of the conventional method. Analyses of synthetic CMP gathers using both methods show essentially equivalent treatments of seismic signal, and similar dependence of accuracy and resolving power on recording geometry.We have extended the migration-based approach to include more than one CMP gather in each analysis. This extension allows proper treatment of dipping events and yields velocity information that is more appropriate for use in migration. By using the intermediate wave field at each step of downward extrapolation, we need only do a single constant-velocity migration of the unstacked data followed by a simple mapping procedure in order to recover the velocity information.

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