ABSTRACT

Methods for extracting angle-domain common-image gathers (ADCIGs) during 2D reverse-time migration fall into three main categories; direction-vector-based methods, local-plane-wave decomposition methods, and local-shift imaging condition methods. The direction-vector-based methods, which use either amplitude gradients or phase gradients, cannot handle overlapping events because of an assumption of one propagation direction per imaging point per imaging time; however, the ADCIGs from the direction-vector-based methods have the highest angle resolution. A new direction-vector-based method using instantaneous phase gradients in space and time gives the same propagation directions and ADCIGs as those obtained by the Poynting vector or polarization vector based methods, where amplitudes are large. Angles calculated by the phase gradients have larger uncertainties at smaller amplitudes, but they do not significantly degrade the ADCIGs because they contribute only small amplitudes. The local-plane-wave decomposition and local-shift imaging condition methods, implemented either by a Fourier transform or by a slant stack transform, can handle overlapping events, and produce very similar angle gathers. ADCIGs from both methods depend on the local window size in which the transforms are done. In small local windows, both methods produce ADCIGs with low noise, but also with low angle resolution; in large windows, they have high angle resolution, but contain smeared artifacts.

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