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The present state of seismic acquisition and some of its surprisingly conservative aspects in particular cannot be understood without looking back into the short history of geophysics. I begin by discussing how improvements in instrumentation enabled early geophysicists to distinguish refections in the wiggling seismograms behind the first refracted arrival, how the geophysicists were led to deploy their instruments into the sea, and how the digital revolution allowed them to shift from 2D seismic acquisition to 3D and then to 4D.

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