Ray-based prestack depth migration fails to image quantitatively complex structures when a single arrival—for example, the first or the strongest one—is taken into account. In this paper, we investigate whether accounting for multiple arrivals in ray-based preserved amplitude prestack depth migration allows one to improve quantitative imaging of complex media.

The asymptotic ray-Born migration/inversion, originally designed to process one single arrival, is extended to the case of multiple arrivals by accounting for the cross-contributions of all the source and receiver ray-paths. Multiple arrivals in the folded ray fields are computed by a dynamic ray tracing based on a wavefront construction technique.

With an application to the complex Marmousi model, we demonstrate that ray-Born inversion can provide a reliable quantitative estimation of the relative impedance perturbation even in the complex deep part of the model, for which the amplitudes were underestimated drastically when only a single arrival was used, either the first or the strongest one.

This 2-D case study shows that complex structures can be imaged quantitatively with rays. Future studies will require the optimizing of the implementation of ray-Born migration/inversion with multiple arrivals before considering 3-D applications.

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