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Seismic imaging of the Waltham Canyon Fault, California: Comparison of ray‐theoretical and Fresnel volume prestack depth migration

, , , and . Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 103 (1): 340--352 (Feb 1, 2013)


Near-vertical faults can be imaged using reflected refractions identified in controlled-source seismic data. Often theses phases are observed on a few neighboring shot or receiver gathers, resulting in a low-fold data set. Imaging can be carried out with Kirchhoff prestack depth migration in which migration noise is suppressed by constructive stacking of large amounts of multifold data. Fresnel volume migration can be used for low-fold data without severe migration noise, as the smearing along isochrones is limited to the first Fresnel zone around the reflection point. We developed a modified Fresnel volume migration technique to enhance imaging of steep faults and to suppress noise and undesired coherent phases. The modifications include target-oriented filters to separate reflected refractions from steep-dipping faults and reflections with hyperbolic moveout. Undesired phases like multiple reflections, mode conversions, direct P and S waves, and surface waves are suppressed by these filters. As an alternative approach, we developed a new prestack line-drawing migration method, which can be considered as a proxy to an infinite frequency approximation of the Fresnel volume migration. The line-drawing migration is not considering waveform information but requires significantly shorter computational time. Target-oriented filters were extended by dip filters in the line•drawing migration method. The migration methods were tested with synthetic data and applied to real data from the Waltham Canyon fault, California. The two techniques are applied best in combination, to design filters and to generate complementary images of steep faults.

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