Crooked-line 2D seismic reflection survey geometries violate underlying assumptions of 2D imaging routines, affecting our ability to resolve the subsurface reliably. We compare three crooked-line imaging schemes involving prestack and poststack time migration using the 2D IBERSEIS deep seismic reflection profile running over the South Portuguese Zone thrust-and-fold belt to obtain crisp high-resolution images of the shallow crust. The crust is characterized by a complex subsurface geometry with conflicting dips of up to 50°. In summary, the three schemes are (1) normal-moveout (NMO) corrections, dip-moveout (DMO) corrections, common-midpoint (CMP) stacking, CMP projection, and poststack time migration; (2) NMO corrections, DMO corrections, CMP projection, zero-offset time migration of the common-offset gathers, and CMP stacking; (3) CMP projection, prestack time migration in the common-offset domain, and CMP stacking. An essential element of all three schemes is a CMP projection routine, projecting the CMPs first binned along individual segments for preprocessing onto one straight line, which is parallel to the general dip direction of the subsurface structures. After CMP projection, the data satisfy the straight-line assumption of 2D imaging routines more closely. We observe that the prestack time-migration scheme yields comparable or more coherent synthetic and field-data images than the other two DMO-based schemes along the parts of the profile where the acquisition overall follows a straight line. However, the schemes involving DMO corrections are less plagued by migration artifacts than the prestack time-migration scheme along profile parts where the acquisition line is crooked. In particular, prominent migration artifacts on the prestack migrated synthetic data can be related to significant variations in source-receiver azimuths for which 2D prestack migration cannot account. Thus, the processing scheme including DMO corrections, CMP projection, and zero-offset migration of common-offset gathers offers a reliable and effective alternative to prestack migration for crooked-line 2D seismic reflection processing.

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