ABSTRACT

Additional information regarding the continuity and resolution of selected seismic reflectors in reverse time migration (RTM) images can be beneficial for seismic interpretation. We have developed and evaluated new imaging conditions for RTM based on the phase coherence between the forward- and backward-propagated wavefields. These imaging conditions make use of the instantaneous phase and envelope of the analytical signals of the source and receiver wavefields, in addition to their real parts. Once the analytical wavefields are available, these imaging conditions can be calculated simultaneously with conventional conditions at little or no extra cost. The availability of these fields at each image point enables several alternative ways to define imaging conditions. We explore, in addition to pure phase crosscorrelation (PC), two approaches of amplitude-weighted PC. Our numerical experiments, imaging synthetic and field data sets, indicate that these new imaging conditions provide additional images that can highlight some weak reflectors by locally improving the resolution of RTM images. In our examples, this happens particularly in the deep portions of the seismic images. In addition, reflection events produced at discontinuities are enhanced as sharp signals, suggesting that the proposed imaging conditions can help to delineate stratigraphic and structural features that are harder to see in conventional images. These properties of the PC imaging conditions make them an interesting tool to provide additional information that can aid seismic interpretation in complex structural settings.

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