The prestack imaging resolution capabilities of various 3-D seismic recording patterns are revealed when a Born-approximate theory is applied to backscattered waves. The 3-D imaging resolution of such patterns is compactly studied using a constant-velocity model with a point scatterer or a line scatterer at depth.By use of a well-known acoustic imaging formula, it is shown that the resolution of a point scatterer in the X and Y directions is not significantly different for various realistic layouts of sources and receivers in land-type recording, even though the recording patterns appear to be greatly dissimilar, provided the aperture remains constant. For marine-type survey patterns, the image is almost as well-resolved in the crossline direction as the inline direction. This is true whether the scattering object is a point or a line. In marine surveying, symmetric resolution of subsurface features can be achieved by conducting two orthogonal surveys at half the density of one unidirectional survey.

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