The theory of 2.5-dimensional (2.5-D) wave propagation (Bleistein, 1986) allows efficient computation of 3-D wavefields in c(x, z) acoustic media when the source and receivers lie in a common y-plane (assumed to be y = 0 in this paper). It is really a method of efficiently computing an inplane 3-D wavefield in media with one symmetry axis. The idea is to raytrace the wavefield in the (x, z)-plane while allowing for out-of-plane spreading. In this way 3-D amplitude decay is honored without 3-D ray tracing. This theory has its conceptual origin in work by Ursin (1978) and Hubral (1978). Bleistein (1986) gives an excellent overview and detailed reference to earlier work.

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