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One part of the data collected by acquisition geophysicists is useful in making seismic images, and the other part can prevent those images from being useful. Sorting one part from the other is one task of the processing geophysicist. Acquisition geophysi-cists must provide conditions to make sorting feasible. In general, the conditions are met when the signal portion is large and noise is small. However, the available leverage on the respective importance of signal and noise is finite and often limited. This chapter is about the leverage and its limitations. Some essential properties of seismic body waves (signal) are reviewed in the first section. The second section is dedicated to noise. The third section discusses the relationship between the two. Often, the relationship is described by the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N). The debate on this subject is far from being closed.

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