Although Kirchhoff migration is currently the tool of choice for 3-D seismic prestack depth imaging, full volume imaging using Kirchhoff methods is costly for large surveys or interactive processing. This article describes a beam methodology for Kirchhoff imaging that leads to a theoretical speedup of up to two orders of magnitude over traditional implementations of Kirchhoff migration. Beam methodology has been used routinely in Amerada Hess for generating 3-D full-volume prestack depth images for the last several years.

Since its inception in 1994, the algorithm has been continuously enhanced with new features and capabilities for more challenging data sets. Speedups...

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