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Potential improvements will play an important role in shear wave technology, not only because the technology is “emerging,” but also because it is necessary to fully justify the use of several wave modes instead of only one. Every step of the shear wave observation has potential improvements.

Today multicomponent processing is mainly mono-mode. A significant step will follow by moving from scalar processing towards vectorial processing. This fact implies some essential improvements regarding acquisition and/or computer algorithms. At this very moment 3, 4 or 9 components are at our disposal, but that does not mean 3, 4 or 9 vectors, for many reasons(Fig 8.1).

The growth rate of multicomponent activity(Fig 8.2) over the past four years is directly related to the high data quality obtained at the sea bottom. Nevertheless, the first interest of OBC acquisition remains the cost saving in areas with surface obstruction. The second interest is the possible application of the 3D properties of cross-spread acquisition.

At the bottom of the sea, the state-of-the-art for removing water layer reverberation calls for using two components (hydrophone plus geophone). If the additional cost of recording four components (2 orthogonal, horizontal receivers) is negligible then the application of mode-converted waves becomes a real opportunity for the multicomponent processors. Most of the 3D × 4C data recently acquired were pilot surveys used to define larger surveys for 4D purpose.

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