Reverse time migration (RTM) generally uses the zero-lag crosscorrelation imaging condition, requiring the source and receiver wavefields to be known at the same time step. However, the receiver wavefield is calculated in time-reversed order, opposite to the order of the forward-propagated source wavefield. The inconvenience can be resolved by storing the source wavefield on a computer memory/disk or by reconstructing the source wavefield on the fly for multiplication with the receiver wavefield. The storage requirements for the former approach can be very large. Hence, we have followed the latter route and developed an efficient source wavefield reconstruction method. During forward propagation, the boundary wavefields at N layers of the spatial grid points and a linear combination of wavefields at MN layers of the spatial grid points are stored. During backward propagation, it reconstructs the source wavefield using the saved wavefields based on a new finite-difference stencil (M is the operator length parameter, and 0NM). Unlike existing methods, our method allows a trade-off between accuracy and storage by adjusting N. A maximum-norm-based objective function is constructed to optimize the reconstruction coefficients based on the minimax approximation using the Remez exchange algorithm. Dispersion and stability analyses reveal that our method is more accurate and marginally less stable than the method that requires storage of a combination of boundary wavefields. Our method has been applied to 3D RTM on synthetic and field data. Numerical examples indicate that our method with N=1 can produce images that are close to those obtained using a conventional method of storing M layers of boundary wavefields. The memory usage of our method is (N+1)/M times that of the conventional method.

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