In conventional normal moveout (NMO) correction, some parts of the recorded data at larger offsets are discarded because of NMO distortions. Deviation from the true traveltime of reflections due to the anisotropy and heterogeneity of the earth, and wavelet stretching are two reasons of these distortions. The magnitudes of both problems increase with increasing the offset to depth ratio. Therefore, to be able to keep larger offsets of shallower reflections, both problems should be obviated. Accordingly, first, we have studied different traveltime approximations being in use, alongside new parameterizations for two classical functional equations, to select suitable equations for NMO correction. We numerically quantify the fitting accuracy and uncertainty of known nonhyperbolic traveltime approximations for P-waves in transversely isotropic media with vertical symmetry axis (VTI). We select three suitable three-parameter approximations for NMO in layered VTI media as the VTI generalized moveout approximation, a double-square-root approximation, and a perturbation-based approximation. Second, we have developed an extension of the earlier proposed stretch-free NMO method, using the selected moveout approximations. This method involves an automatic modification of the input parameters in anisotropic NMO correction, for selected reflections. Our anisotropic stretch-free NMO method is tested on synthetic and three real data sets from Gulf of Mexico and Iranian oil fields. The results verify the success of the method in extending the usable offsets, by generating flat and stretch-free NMO corrected reflections.

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