Abstract

Reverse time migration (RTM) was first introduced in the early 1980s (Whitmore, 1983), but was seemingly dormant until recent advances in computer hardware helped propel it onto the stage as a powerful depth-imaging method. RTM is now standard for areas where large velocity contrasts and/or steep dips pose a challenge, for instance below salt in the Gulf of Mexico. In recent years, where called for by the data, the migration tool of choice has gone from isotropic RTM to anisotropic RTM. The most common representations of anisotropy in sedimentary rocks are VTI (transverse isotropy with a vertical axis of symmetry) and TTI (tilted transverse isotropy). While isotropic and VTI RTM have become somewhat routine, TTI RTM remains challenging due to the complexity, stability, computational cost, and the difficulty in estimating the anisotropic parameters for TTI media.

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