3D wavepath migration

Hongchuan Sun*, Gerard T. Schuster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


3D Kirchhoff migration (KM) smears a trace's time sample along a quasi-ellipsoid in the model space. This is a costly and sometimes noisy process as reflection energy is smeared far away from the actual reflector position, introducing far-field migration artefacts. As a reduced form of 3D KM, 3D wavepath migration (WM) smears a picked reflection arrival to a small Fresnel zone portion centred about the specular reflection point, leading to fewer migration artefacts and reduced computation time. Both the traveltime and the angle of incidence are required by WM for locating the specular reflection point. Our results with 3D prestack synthetic data show that WM generates fewer migration artefacts and can sometimes define complex structure better than KM. Our results with 3D prestack field data show that WM can mostly suppress migration artefacts and can sometimes resolve reflection interfaces better than KM. The CPU comparison shows that, for both the synthetic and field data examples, WM can be more than an order of magnitude faster than KM. The limitation with 3D WM is that the angle of incidence calculation is sensitive to the recording geometry and the signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio, which can lead to blurred images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-430
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Prospecting
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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