In this chapter I present the azimuth moveout operator, (AMO), first introduced by Biondi and Chemingui 1994. AMO is a new partial prestack imaging operator that rotates the azimuth and modifies the offset of 3-D prestack data. AMO has a wide range of applications in 3D prestack imaging. Two promising applications discussed in this chapter are the reduction of the size of prestack data by partial stacking and the transformation of marine surveys to effective common azimuth geometry. Common-azimuth data can then be efficiently depth migrated by new 3D prestack migration methods Biondi and Palacharla (1996); Canning and Gardner (1996).
The first section of this chapter discusses the derivation of the AMO operator and analyzes the characteristics of its impulse response. The second section addresses the theoretical and practical issues for an efficient implementation of AMO as an integral operator. Finally, the third section of the chapter illustrates the application of AMO for partial stacking of a real 3D survey from the North Sea. Appendix A presents detailed derivations of the main analytical results shown in this chapter.