The interest in subsalt imaging has been fueled by numerous discoveries beneath salt in the Gulf of Mexico in the last decade. A most effective tool in making these discoveries is 3-D prestack depth migration (PreSDM), which allows imaging of reflectors under the salt sheets and of detached bodies of irregular shape. Ray-trace modeling can simulate seismic illumination problems such as shadow zones or seismic focusing and allow better interpretation of subsalt seismic data.

The modeling process involves building a computer model that includes salt shapes and velocity variations, simulating an entire 3-D seismic survey with ray-trace modeling, and sorting...

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