In many areas of the Gulf of Mexico, irregular salt bodies cover vast regions of hydrocarbon-producing sediments. Conventional “narrow-azimuth” seismic acquisition surveys in many cases have not been able to sufficiently illuminate the subsalt structures that trap these hydrocarbons. Even state-of-the-art imaging techniques cannot overcome the lack of illumination on these structures to properly image them. The basic problem, as Figure 1 illustrates, is the inherent 2D nature of conventional streamer acquisition. A seismic vessel towing several streamers is only able to record a narrow swath of the wavefield reflected back from the subsurface geology. This frequently means in cases...

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