Migration of seismic data from topography using methods based on finite-difference (FD) approximation to acoustic wave propagation commonly suffers from a number of imaging drawbacks due to the difficulty of applying FD stencils to irregular computational meshes. Altering the computational geometry from Cartesian to a topographic coordinate system conformal to the data acquisition surface can circumvent many of these issues. The coordinate transformation approach allows for acoustic wave propagation and the crosscorrelation and inverse-scattering imaging conditions to be posed and computed directly in topographic coordinates. Resulting reverse time migration (RTM) images may then be interpolated back to the Cartesian domain using the known inverse mapping. Orthogonal 2D topographic coordinates can be developed using known conformal mapping transforms and serve as the computational mesh for performing migration from topography. Impulse response tests demonstrate the accuracy of the 2D generalized acoustic wave propagation. RTM imaging examples show the efficacy of performing migration from topography directly from the data acquisition surface on topographic meshes and the ability to image complex near-surface structure even in the presence of strong lateral velocity variation.

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