Wave-Equation Migration has evolved towards a routine tool to generate final stack images but the computation of wave-equation image gathers has not yet spread out in the industry. Nevertheless, provided a good understanding of wave equation gathers’ typology, this prestack information proves to be useful to improve final wave-equation stack images and to build accurate velocity models. In this paper, we explore these new image-gathers, describe their behaviour in terms of true specular events as opposed to artefacts and propose solutions for the applications of these image-gathers in improved imaging and in velocity model building. We first describe what are the image-gathers produced by Wave-Equation Migration. Then we characterize the specular events and the acquisition and processing artefacts they exhibit. On analytical and synthetic image-gathers, we illustrate the artefacts linked with the acquisition truncation. Although feeding tomography with these gathers may require a sophisticated method to recover only the specular part, an adapted mute can prove to be a very efficient in a post-processing workflow. We illustrate on a real 3D subsalt dataset how the use of wave-equation image gathers significantly improves the seismic stack.


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