We have developed a polarized wavefield magnitude (PWM) approach to determine the polarity of an elastic vector wavefield magnitude, for elastic prestack reverse time migration imaging and common-image gather generation. Explicit decomposition of the coupled elastic wavefield into separate P-waves and converted S-waves is performed by using decoupled elastodynamic wavefield propagation. Stable source and receiver wavefield propagation angles are determined by an optical flow method for elastic media. The sign ambiguity in the propagation directions for incident P- and reflected P- and S-wavefield vector magnitudes is resolved by establishing a relation between the propagation and particle velocity vectors. From the computed propagation angles, PP- and PS-wavefields are imaged using source-normalized crosscorrelation followed by sorting into common-image gathers. Modeling of amplitude variations with angle (AVA) from single-shot migrations and from elastic angle-domain common-image gathers demonstrates that the amplitude fidelity is maintained. Mode-converted PS reflectivities also give an independent set of accurate AVA information. Numerical results for the elastic Marmousi2 model confirm PWM as a physically valid and robust method for elastic wavefield imaging in arbitrarily complicated media.

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