In complex areas with large lateral velocity variations, wave-equation-based source plane-wave migration can produce images comparable to those from shot-profile migration, with less computational cost. Image quality can be better than in ray-theory-based Kirchhoff-type methods. This method requires the composition of plane-wave sections from all shot gathers. We provide a general framework to evaluate plane-wave composition in prestack source plane-wave migration. Our analysis shows that a plane-wave section can be treated as encoded shot gathers. This study provides the theoretical justification for applying plane-wave migration algorithms to sparsely sampled shot gathers with irregularly distributed receivers and limited offset. In addition, we discuss cylindrical-wave migration, which is 3D migration of 2D-constructed plane waves along the inline direction. We mathematically prove the equivalence of shot and plane-wave migration, and their equivalence to cylindrical wave migration in 3D cases when the sail lines are straight. Examples (including the Sigsbee 2A model) demonstrate the theory.

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