We introduce a novel technique for seismic wave extrapolation in time. The technique involves cascading a Fourier transform operator and a finite-difference operator to form a chain operator: Fourier finite differences (FFD). We derive the FFD operator from a pseudoanalytical solution of the acoustic wave equation. Two-dimensional synthetic examples demonstrate that the FFD operator can have high accuracy and stability in complex-velocity media. Applying the FFD method to the anisotropic case overcomes some disadvantages of other methods, such as the coupling of qP-waves and qSV-waves. The FFD method can be applied to enhance accuracy and stability of seismic imaging by reverse time migration.

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