Small geologic features manifest themselves in seismic data in the form of diffracted waves, which are fundamentally different from seismic reflections. Using two field-data examples and one synthetic example, we demonstrate the possibility of separating seismic diffractions in the data and imaging them with optimally chosen migration velocities. Our criteria for separating reflection and diffraction events are the smoothness and continuity of local event slopes that correspond to reflection events. For optimal focusing, we develop the local varimax measure. The objectives of this work are velocity analysis implemented in the poststack domain and high-resolution imaging of small-scale heterogeneities. Our examples demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method for high-resolution imaging of such geologic features as faults, channels, and salt boundaries.

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