Reverse-time migration applies finite-difference wave equation solutions by using unaliased time-reversed recorded traces as seismic sources. Recorded data can be sparsely or irregularly sampled relative to a finely spaced finite-difference mesh because of the nature of seismic acquisition. Fortunately, reliable interpolation of missing traces is implicitly included in the reverse-time wave equation computations. This implicit interpolation is essentially based on the ability of the wavefield to “heal itself” during propagation. Both synthetic and real data examples demonstrate that reverse-time migration can often be performed effectively without the need for explicit interpolation of missing traces.

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