Reduced amplitude and distorted dispersion of seismic waves caused by attenuation, especially strong attenuation, always degrades the resolution of migrated images. To improve image resolution, we evaluated a methodology of compensating for attenuation (1/Q) effects in reverse-time migration (Q-RTM). The Q-RTM approach worked by mitigating the amplitude attenuation and phase dispersion effects in source and receiver wavefields. Source and receiver wavefields were extrapolated using a previously published time-domain viscoacoustic wave equation that offered separated amplitude attenuation and phase dispersion operators. In our Q-RTM implementation, therefore, attenuation- and dispersion-compensated operators were constructed by reversing the sign of attenuation operator and leaving the sign of dispersion operator unchanged, respectively. Further, we designed a low-pass filter for attenuation and dispersion operators to stabilize the compensating procedure. Finally, we tested the Q-RTM approach on a simple layer model and the more realistic BP gas chimney model. Numerical results demonstrated that the Q-RTM approach produced higher resolution images with improved amplitude and phase compared to the noncompensated RTM, particularly beneath high-attenuation zones.

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