Time migration—some ray theoretical aspects
Journal name: Geophysical Prospecting
Issue: Vol 25, No 4, December 1977 pp. 738 - 745
Info: Article, PDF ( 588.48Kb )
Using an elementary theory of migration one can consider a reflecting horizon as a continuum of scattering centres for seismic waves. Reflections arising at interfaces can thus be looked upon as the sum of energy scattered by interface points. The energy from one point is distributed among signals upon its reflection time surface. This surface is usually well approximated by a hyperboloid in the vicinity of its apex. Migration aims at focusing the scattered energy of each depth point into an image point upon the reflection time surface. To ensure a complete migration the image must be vertical above the depth point. This is difficult to achieve for subsurface interfaces which fall below laterally in-homogeneous velocity media. Migration is hence frequently performed for these interfaces as well by the Kirchhoff summation method which systematically sums signals into the apex of the approximation hyperboloid even though the Kirchhoff integral is in this case not strictly valid. For a multilayered subsurface isovelocity layer model with interfaces of a generally curved nature this can only provide a complete migration for the uppermost interface. Still there are various advantages gained by having a process which sums signals consistently into the minimum of the reflection time surface. The position of the time surface minimum is the place where a ray from the depth point emerges vertically to the surface. The Kirchhoff migration, if applied to media with laterally inhomogeneous velocity, must necessarily be followed by a further time-to-depth migration if the true depth structure is to be recovered. Primary normal reflections and their respective migrated reflections have a complementary relationship to each other. Normal reflections relate to rays normal to the reflector and migrated reflections relate to rays normal to the free surface. Ray modeling is performed to indicate a new approach for simulating seismic reflections. Commonly occuring situations are investigated from which lessons can be learned which are of immediate value for those concerned with interpreting time migrated reflections. The concept of the ‘image ray’ is introduced.