Kirchhoff is the most commonly used 3D prestack migration algorithm because of its speed and other economic advantages, but it uses a high-frequency ray approximation to the wave equation and, therefore, has difficulties in imaging complex geologic structures where multipathing occurs (e.g., beneath rugose horizons such as faulted salt domes where traveltime calculations become difficult).

In contrast to Kirchhoff migration, reverse-time migration computes numerical solutions to the complete wave equation and, therefore, is potentially more accurate. But this technique is not popular in the industry because it is computationally intensive and expensive. However, we felt some recent developments would allow...

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