Elastic angle-domain common-imaging gathers (ADCIGs) extracted from elastic reverse time migration (ERTM) play a pivotal part in elastic migration velocity analysis, elastic amplitude variation with angle, and attribute interpretation. In practice, however, elastic ADCIGs often suffer from unbalanced amplitude behavior, poor resolution, and low-wavenumber artifacts because of insufficient velocity information, limited recording aperture, uneven illumination, and other inaccuracies of the migration operator. We have developed a new method to improve the quality of elastic ADCIGs extracted from ERTM by posing ERTM imaging as an inverse problem whose misfit function measures the difference between simulated and observed data. The misfit function can be minimized by updating elastic offset-domain common-imaging gathers (ODCIGs) using an optimization method. Based on the transformation between ADCIGs and ODCIGs, the forward operator generates multicomponent seismic data from elastic ODCIGs by applying a scattering condition, and the adjoint operator generates elastic ODCIGs from ERTM using a subsurface space-shift imaging condition. Compared with elastic ODCIGs extracted from ERTM, our method effectively improves the focusing of elastic ODCIGs to produce elastic ADCIGs with higher resolution, fewer artifacts, and improved amplitude coherency across different reflection angles. Several synthetic examples were used to validate the effectiveness of the method.

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