Angle domain common image gathers (ADCIGs) from reverse-time migration (RTM) provide new tools for imaging complex geologic structures, such as salt flank or subsalt areas, characterized by multiarrivals. Compared with common image gathers from Kirchoff or Beam migration, the ADCIGs from RTM have the advantage of relying on wave propagation, providing a more reliable input for tomography or amplitude analysis. In practice however, most current wide azimuth surveys (e.g., deep-water regions of the Gulf of Mexico) are acquired with coarsely sampled shot and receiver locations on the surface, which leads to severe angular undersampling. This phenomenon is frequently observed on shallow seismic events in high-resolution 3D ADCIGs from common-shot RTM. In addition, because small offsets are frequently not recorded, seismic events are missing at small incidence angles in angle gathers. We have made a detailed study of the angular sampling issue in 3D angle gathers. We then used plane-wave RTM to generate 3D angle gathers. Plane-wave RTM, with its low-cost and automatic angular interpolation, is a promising solution for improving the quality of 3D angle gathers.

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