Gaussian-beam depth migration is a useful alternative to Kirchhoff and wave-equation migrations. It overcomes the limitations of Kirchhoff migration in imaging multipathing arrivals, while retaining its efficiency and its capability of imaging steep dips with turning waves. Extension of this migration method to anisotropic media has, however, been hampered by the difficulties in traditional kinematic and dynamic ray-tracing systems in inhomogeneous, anisotropic media. Formulated in terms of elastic parameters, the traditional anisotropic ray-tracing systems aredifficult to implement and inefficient for computation, especially for the dynamic ray-tracing system. They may also result inambiguity in specifying elastic parameters for a given medium.To overcome these difficulties, we have reformulated the ray-tracing systems in terms of phase velocity. These reformulated systems are simple and especially useful for general transversely isotropic and weak orthorhombic media, because the phase velocities for these two types of media can be computed with simple analytic expressions. These two types of media also represent the majority of anisotropy observed in sedimentary rocks. Based on these newly developed ray-tracing systems, we have extended prestack Gaussian-beam depth migration to general transversely isotropic media. Test results with synthetic data show that our anisotropic, prestack Gaussian-beam migration is accurate and efficient. It produces images superior to those generated by anisotropic, prestack Kirchhoff migration.

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