Abstract

Common-image gathers are an important output of prestack depth migration. They provide information needed for velocity model building and amplitude and phase information for subsurface attribute interpretation. Conventionally, common-image gathers are computed using Kirchhoff migration on common-offset/azimuth data volumes. When geologic structures are complex and strong contrasts exist in the velocity model, the complicated wave behaviors will create migration artifacts in the image gathers. As long as the gather output traces are indexed by any surface attribute, such as source location, receiver location, or surface plane-wave direction, they suffer from the migration artifacts caused by multiple raypaths. These problems have been addressed in a significant amount of work, resulting in common-image gathers computed in the reflection angle domain, whose traces are indexed by the subsurface reflection angle and/or the subsurface azimuth angle. Most of these efforts have concentrated on Kirchhoff and one-way wave-equation migration methods. For reverse time migration, subsurface angle gathers can be produced using the same approach as that used for one-way wave-equation migration. However, these approaches need to be revisited when producing high-quality subsurface angle gathers in three dimensions (reflection angle/azimuth angle), especially for wide-azimuth data. We have developed a method for obtaining 3D subsurface reflection angle/azimuth angle common-image gathers specifically for the amplitude-preserved reverse time migration. The method builds image gathers with a high-dimensional convolution of wavefields in the wavenumber domain. We have found a windowed antileakage Fourier transform method that leads to an efficient and practical implementation. This approach has generated high-resolution angle-domain gathers on synthetic 2.5D data and 3D wide-azimuth real data.

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