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Published as International Journal of Geophysics, Article ID 484653, (2011)

Azimuthally anisotropic 3D velocity continuation

William Burnett and Sergey Fomel


We extend time-domain velocity continuation to the zero-offset 3D azimuthally anisotropic case. Velocity continuation describes how a seismic image changes given a change in migration velocity. This description turns out to be of a wave propagation process, in which images change along a velocity axis. In the anisotropic case, the velocity model is multi-parameter. Therefore, anisotropic image propagation is multi-dimensional. We use a three-parameter slowness model, which is related to azimuthal variations in velocity, as well as their principal directions. This information is useful for fracture and reservoir characterization from seismic data. We provide synthetic diffraction imaging examples to illustrate the concept and potential applications of azimuthal velocity continuation and to analyze the impulse response of the 3D velocity continuation operator.