New understanding of the value of azimuthally diverse information has undoubtedly brought a step change in image quality to sub-salt reservoir delineation. In this paper we use 3D elastic modelling to try and decide whether different acquisition geometries may bring similar benefits to North Sea imaging and multiple suppression ? We conclude that full-azimuth imaging produces the most consistent structural picture and amplitudes that can be correlated with the model data. The full azimuth data may be able to resolve fault compartments and subtleties not in the original survey model. For narrow azimuth surveys illumination differences are more subtle than in previously published sub-salt examples. The two narrow azimuth datasets shot in different directions show more variable image quality. In some cases faults occur in shadow zones and are poorly imaged, although the general structural picture is quite similar. Amplitudes are more variable between the datasets and if only one of the narrow azimuth data volumes is made available the interpreter should expect mixed results when looking correlating and making subsurface inferences from amplitude responses.


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