1. n. [Geophysics]
A method of seismic migration that uses the integral form (Kirchhoff equation) of the wave equation. All methods of seismic migration involve the backpropagation (or continuation) of the seismic wavefield from the region where it was measured (Earth's surface or along a borehole) into the region to be imaged. In Kirchhoff migration, this is done by using the Kirchhoff integral representation of a field at a given point as a (weighted) superposition of waves propagating from adjacent points and times. Continuation of the wavefield requires a background model of seismic velocity, which is usually a model of constant or smoothly varying velocity. Because of the integral form of Kirchhoff migration, its implementation reduces to stacking the data along curves that trace the arrival time of energy scattered by image points in the earth.
Synonyms: diffraction stack