Kirchhoff migration has traditionally been viewed as an imaging procedure. Usually, few claims are made regarding the amplitudes in the imaged section. In recent years, a number of inversion formulas, similar in form to those of Kirchhoff migration, have been proposed. A Kirchhoff-type inversion produces not only an image but also an estimate of velocity variations, or perhaps reflection coefficients. The estimate is obtained from the peak amplitudes in the image. In this paper prestack Kirchhoff migration and inversion formulas for the one-parameter acoustic wave equation are compared. Following a heuristic approach based on the imaging principle, a migration formula is derived which turns out to be identical to one proposed by Bleistein for inversion. Prestack Kirchhoff migration and inversion are, thus, seen to be the same--both in terms of the image produced and the peak amplitudes of the output.

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