Wavefield-continuation-based migration algorithms that downward extrapolate the 3D prestack wavefield (commonly known as “wave-equation migration”) have been recently shown to produce better imaging results than Kirchhoff migration in many synthetic and real data cases (Popovici, 2000). Wavefield-continuation methods are potentially more accurate and robust because they are based on the full wave equation and not on an asymptotic solution based on ray theory. In addition, wavefield-continuation methods handle multipathing naturally in contrast to Kirchhoff methods, focusing and defocusing effects of velocity variations are correctly modeled, antialiasing is handled implicitly, and amplitudes are consistent with the wave equation.

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