Migration methods for imaging different-order multiples

Zhiyong Jiang*, Jianming Sheng, Jianhua Yu, Gerard T. Schuster, Brian E. Hornby

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Multiples contain valuable information about the subsurface, and if properly migrated can provide a wider illumination of the subsurface compared to imaging with VSP primary reflections. In this paper we review three different methods for migrating multiples. The first method is model-based, and it is more sensitive to velocity errors than primary migration; the second method uses a semi-natural Green's function for migrating multiples, where part of the traveltimes are computed from the velocity model, and part of the traveltimes (i.e., natural traveltimes) are picked from the data to construct the imaging condition for multiples; the third method uses cross-correlation of traces. The last two methods are preferred in the sense that they are significantly less sensitive to velocity errors and statics because they use "natural data" to construct part of the migration imaging conditions. Compared with the interferometric (i.e., crosscorrelation) imaging method the semi-natural Green's function method is more computationally efficient and is sometimes less prone to migration artifacts. Numerical tests with 2-D and 3-D VSP data show that a wider subsurface coverage, higher-fold and more balanced illumination of the subsurface can be achieved with multiple migration compared with migration of primary reflections only. However, there can be strong interference from multiples with different orders or primaries when multiples of high order are migrated. One possible solution is to filter primaries and different orders of multiples before migration, and another possible solution is least squares migration of all events. A limitation of multiple migration is encountered for subsalt imaging. Here, the multiples must pass through the salt body more than twice, which amplifies the distortion of the image.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalGeophysical Prospecting
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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