ABSTRACT

Reverse-time migration (RTM) using the crosscorrelation imaging condition requires that the forward-propagated source wavefield and the backward-propagated receiver wavefield be accessible within the imaging domain at the same time step. There are two categories of methods to balance the computer memory requirement and the computational complexity of RTM: checkpointing methods and source-wavefield reconstruction methods. We have developed a new source-wavefield reconstruction method to improve the balance between the computer memory requirement and the computational complexity of RTM. During the forward simulation of the source wavefield, we stored boundary wavefields only at one or two layers of spatial grid points and reconstructed the back-propagated source wavefield at the same time step as that of the back-propagated receiver wavefield, using a high-order wave-equation extrapolation scheme. One conventional RTM method uses boundary wavefields stored at multiple layers of spatial grid points and a high-order finite-difference (FD) scheme to reconstruct the back-propagated source wavefield. For an FD scheme with the eighth or sixteenth order of accuracy in space, our new method used only 37.5% of the computer memory required by this conventional method to store the boundary wavefields. This reduction of computer memory usage is significant because storing the boundary wavefields consumes most of the computer memory required for 3D migration using reconstructed source wavefields. Moreover, our method maintained the spatial order of accuracy of the FD scheme for the entire imaging domain, whereas some conventional methods reduce the spatial-order accuracy of the FD scheme near the boundaries to back-propagate the source wavefield to decrease the computer memory requirement. We validated our method using synthetic seismic data. Our method produced 2D and 3D migration images of complex subsurface structures as accurate as those yielded using an RTM method without reducing the spatial order of accuracy near the boundaries.

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