ABSTRACT

Because angle-domain common-image gathers (ADCIGs) from reverse time migration (RTM) are capable of obtaining the correct illumination of a subsurface geologic structure, they provide more reliable information for velocity model building, amplitude-variation versus angle analysis, and attribute interpretation. The approaches for generating ADCIGs mainly consist of two types: (1) indirect approaches that convert extended image gathers into ADCIGs and (2) direct approaches that first obtain propagating angles of wavefronts and then map the imaging result to the angle domain. In practice, however, generation of ADCIGs usually incurs high computational cost, poor resolution, and other drawbacks. To generate efficient ADCIGs using RTM methods, we have introduced a novel approach to obtain polarization vectors — directions of particle motion — from the Cauchy wavefield (CWF) and an efficient localized plane-wave decomposition algorithm to implement the angle-domain imaging condition. The CWF is a wavefield constructed from the Cauchy condition of the wave equation at any given time, and it only contains negative frequencies of the original wavefield so that the polarization vector is obtained from the local CWF in the wavenumber domain. With polarization vectors at our disposal, we have further developed an efficient localized plane-wave decomposition algorithm to implement the angle-domain imaging condition. Numerical examples have indicated that the new approach is able to handle complex wave phenomenon and has advantages in illuminating subsurface structure.

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