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Reverse Time Migration (RTM)

Conventional wave equation migration is performed by propagating data downward through a velocity model into the earth and is limited where the structure and velocity field generate more complex arrivals, such as turning and 'prism' waves. Complex propagation paths give rise to arrivals that are seen as noise in the imaged data.

RTM propagates events both downward and upward through the earth model, explicitly handling turning waves and all other complex propagation paths. In many cases the ability to make use of these complex wave modes allows imaging of parts of the subsurface that otherwise have poor direct illumination.

  • Imaging of all possible arrivals
    • Superior multi-path imaging
    • No dip limitation
    • Accounts for extreme lateral velocity variations
  • Wide azimuth and TTI capable
  • Mirror migration of ocean bottom or VSP data
  • Correct for amplitude anomalies using Q-compensating RTM.
  • Improved imaging of complex plays
    • Steep dips
    • Complex overburdens, regardless of dip or rugosity
  • More accurate focusing, positioning and amplitudes in complex areas
  • Inclusion of TTI produces high-fidelity velocity models
West Tonga RTM Jack RTM
TTI RTM imaging of a line near the West Tonga discovery in the Gulf of Mexico featuring
coherent and focused subsalt images.
A line near the Jack discovery in the Gulf of
Mexico, imaged using TTI RTM.


Useful Links:

PDF Icon (Large)
Mad Dog TTI RTM: Better than Expected
Jerry Bowling* | Shuo Ji | Dechun Lin | Dean Chergotis* | Bertram Nolte* | Dennis Yanchak*
*BP America Inc
SEG, 2010, Denver

PDF Icon (Large)
RTM technology for improved salt imaging in Santos Basin, Brazil
Ananya Roy | Nicolas Chazalnoel
SEG, 2011, San Antonio