Tutorial — time conversion of depth migrated data: part II, TTI preSDM
Contemporary depth imaging projects often require final pre-Stack Depth-Migrations (preSDM) to be converted to time for comparison to vintage pre-Stack Time-Migrations (preSTM), or to facilitate conversion to ‘geological’ depth through calibration to well and check-shot data. Here, I consider the situation of having performed an anisotropic Tilted Transverse Isotropy (TTI) preSDM and wanting to convert it to time via vertical stretch in order to compare it, say, to an anisotropic preSTM. Such a comparison is inherently invalid, as time-migration will explicitly treat any anisotropy as if it were Vertical Transverse Isotropy (VTI), and, in addition, the lateral positioning error inherent in preSTM will render such comparisons questionable on steeply dipping structures. I show here that the most appropriate type of ‘velocity’ to use for conversion to time of TTI preSDM reflection events should be the vertical component of the phase velocity. Conversely, if we are considering point-to-point measurements, such as the direct arrival travel time, a down-hole or check-shot measurement, then the group velocity should be used, as it is with this speed that energy travels. In addition, subsequent depth conversion of any time product for interpretational purposes would best be accomplished using a velocity calibrated to well check-shots.