The availability of wide-azimuth data and the use of reverse time migration (RTM) have dramatically increased the capabilities of imaging complex subsalt geology. With these improvements, the current obstacle for creating accurate subsalt images now lies in the velocity model. One of the challenges is to generate common image gathers that take full advantage of the additional information provided by wide-azimuth data and the additional accuracy provided by RTM for velocity model updating. A solution is to generate 3D angle domain common image gathers from RTM, which are indexed by subsurface reflection angle and subsurface azimuth angle. We apply these 3D angle gathers to subsalt tomography with the result that there were improvements in velocity updating with a wide-azimuth data set in the Gulf of Mexico.

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