The determination of the P- and S-wave propagation directions is crucial for wavefield decomposition, polarity reversal correction, and noise suppression in elastic reverse time migration (RTM). Compared with the conventional decoupled elastic wave equation, the first-order velocity-dilatation-rotation equations enable more accurate computation of propagation directions for P and S waves. Moreover, compared with the Poynting vector, the optical flow vector signifies the wavefield propagation directions more accurately. To effectively enhance the accuracy of elastic wave imaging, we develop an elastic RTM based on first-order velocity-dilatation-rotation equations using the optical flow vector. Numerical tests illustrate that our method, with or without noise, can better eliminate migration artifacts and improve the imaging accuracy of the elastic RTM than conventional methods, achieving more accurate wavefield decomposition and superior S-wave polarity reversal correction.

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