Multifocusing revisited - inhomogeneous media and curved interfaces

Evgeny Landa, Shemer Keydar, Tijmen Jan Moser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We review the multifocusing method for traveltime moveout approximation of multicoverage seismic data. Multifocusing constructs the moveout based on two notional spherical waves at each source and receiver point, respectively. These two waves are mutually related by a focusing quantity. We clarify the role of this focusing quantity and emphasize that it is a function of the source and receiver location, rather than a fixed parameter for a given multicoverage gather. The focusing function can be designed to make the traveltime moveout exact in certain generic cases that have practical importance in seismic processing and interpretation. The case of a plane dipping reflector (planar multifocusing) has been the subject of all publications so far. We show that the focusing function can be generalized to other surfaces, most importantly to the spherical reflector (spherical multifocusing). At the same time, the generalization implies a simplification of the multifocusing method. The exact traveltime moveout on spherical surfaces is a very versatile and robust formula, which is valid for a wide range of offsets and locations of source and receiver, even on rugged topography. In two-dimensional surveys, it depends on the same three parameters that are commonly used in planar multifocusing and the common-reflection surface (CRS) stack method: the radii of curvature of the normal and normal-incidence-point waves and the emergence angle. In three dimensions the exact traveltime moveout on spherical surfaces depends on only one additional parameter, the inclination of the plane containing the source, receiver and reflection point. Comparison of the planar and spherical multifocusing with the CRS moveout expression for a range of reflectors with increasing curvature shows that the planar multifocusing can be remarkably accurate but the CRS becomes increasingly inaccurate. This can be attributed to the fact that the CRS formula is based on a Taylor expansion, whereas the multifocusing formulae are double-square root formulae. As a result, planar and spherical multifocusing are better suited to model the moveout of diffracted waves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)925-938
Number of pages14
JournalGeophysical Prospecting
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Moveout formulae
  • Multifocusing method
  • Subsurface imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Multifocusing revisited - inhomogeneous media and curved interfaces'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this