Prestack imaging with 3-D common-offset-vector gathers

Peter W. Cary

The natural extension of a common-offset gather (or section) from 2-D to 3-D is a common-offset-vector (COV) gather (or volume). A COV gather is a selection of traces with common inline-offset and common cross-line offset. It is similar, but not identical, to a common-offset-and-azimuth gather. For regular, wide-azimuth 3-D acquisition geometries, the prestack data can be subdivided naturally into N 1-fold COV gathers, where N is the nominal fold of the data. The resolution, as well as the data and operator aliasing issues, for a 3-D COV gather (or volume) can be analysed in the inline or crossline direction just like a 2-D common-offset gather (or section).