Plane-wave reverse time migration (RTM) could potentially provide quick subsurface images by migrating fewer plane-wave gathers than shot gathers. However, the time delay between the first and the last excitation sources in the plane-wave source largely increases the computation cost and decreases the practical value of this method. Although the time delay problem is easily overcome by periodical phase shifting in the frequency domain for one-way wave-equation migration, it remains a challenge for time-domain RTM. We have developed a novel method, referred as to fast plane-wave RTM (FP-RTM), to eliminate unnecessary computation burden and significantly reduce the computational cost. In the proposed FP-RTM, we assume that the Green’s function has finite-length support; thus, the plane-wave source function and its responding data can be wrapped periodically in the time domain. The wrapping length is the assumed total duration length of Green’s function. We also determine that only two period plane-wave source and data after the wrapping process are required for generating the outcome with adequate accuracy. Although the computation time for one plane-wave gather is twice as long as a normal shot gather migration, a large amount of computation cost is saved because the total number of plane-wave gathers to be migrated is usually much less than the total number of shot gathers. Our FP-RTM can be used to rapidly generate RTM images and plane-wave domain common-image gathers for velocity model building. The synthetic and field data examples are evaluated to validate the efficiency and accuracy of our method.

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