Results for wave-equation migration in the frequency domain using the constant-density acoustic two-way wave equation have been compared to images obtained by its one-way approximation. The two-way approach produces more accurate reflector amplitudes and provides superior imaging of steep flanks. However, migration with the two-way wave equation is sensitive to diving waves, leading to low-frequency artifacts in the images. These can be removed by surgical muting of the input data or iterative migration or high-pass spatial filtering. The last is the most effective.

Iterative migration based on a least-squares approximation of the seismic data can improve the amplitudes and resolution of the imaged reflectors. Two approaches are considered, one based on the linearized constant-density acoustic wave equation and one on the full acoustic wave equation with variable density. The first converges quickly. However, with our choice of migration weights and high-pass spatial filtering for the linearized case, a real-data migration result shows little improvement after the first iteration. The second, nonlinear iterative migration method is considerably more difficult to apply. A real-data example shows only marginal improvement over the linearized case.

In two dimensions, the computational cost of the two-way approach has the same order of magnitude as that for the one-way method. With our implementation, the two-way method requires about twice the computer time needed for one-way wave-equation migration.

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