Q-Compensated Reverse-Time Migration

Tieyuan Zhu, Jerry M. Harris, Biondo Biondi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

285 Scopus citations


Reduced amplitude and distorted dispersion of seismic waves caused by attenuation, especially strong attenuation, always degrades the resolution of migrated images. To improve image resolution, we evaluated a methodology of compensating for attenuation (~1/Q) effects in reverse-time migration (Q-RTM). The Q-RTM approach worked by mitigating the amplitude attenuation and phase dispersion effects in source and receiver wavefields. Source and receiver wavefields were extrapolated using a previously published time-domain viscoacoustic wave equation that offered separated amplitude attenuation and phase dispersion operators. In our Q-RTM implementation, therefore, attenuation- and dispersion-compensated operators were constructed by reversing the sign of attenuation operator and leaving the sign of dispersion operator unchanged, respectively. Further, we designed a low-pass filter for attenuation and dispersion operators to stabilize the compensating procedure. Finally, we tested the Q-RTM approach on a simple layer model and the more realistic BP gas chimney model. Numerical results demonstrated that the Q-RTM approach produced higher resolution images with improved amplitude and phase compared to the noncompensated RTM, particularly beneath high-attenuation zones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S77-S87
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 12 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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