Generating high-quality seismic images requires accurate velocity models. However, velocity errors are predictably brought into the models. To mitigate the influences of velocity errors, we have used the common-horizon panel (CHP) for migration velocity analysis. CHP provides quantitative information to adjust mispositioned interfaces or correct deformed wavefields, which leads to improved image quality. It is generated by extrapolating seismic gathers to a selected target horizon and applying the time-shift imaging condition. Compared with the commonly used common-image gathers, the events in CHPs are more trackable because geologic interfaces are typically continuous in space. For a correct velocity model, the panel indicates a flat event at zero time lag, whereas in the case of an erroneous velocity model, the event becomes kinematically oscillating. This distinguishing difference provides a practical criterion to verify whether the migration velocity model is correct and to estimate the velocity or wavefield errors based on how much the event deviates from zero time lag. Tests on synthetic and field data sets have shown that the seismic images are improved by using the proposed CHP technique.

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