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In this chapter the symmetric sampling criteria are expanded into guidelines for parameter selection for the survey geometry.

Often, geophysicists dealing with the design of 3-D seismic surveys concentrate on the properties of the bin: offset distribution, azimuth mix, midpoint scatter. In my approach, even more emphasis is put on the spatial properties of a geometry across the bins. These spatial aspects are so important because most seismic processing programs operate in some spatial domain, i.e., combine neighboring traces into new output traces, and because it is the spatial behavior of the 3-D seismic volume which the interpreter has to translate into maps.

These guidelines start with a brief description of the knowledge base, which has to be built to allow a satisfactory choice of all parameters. The first choice to be made is the type of geometry. In general, orthogonal geometry is the geometry of choice for land data acquisition and for marine data acquisition in combination with ocean-bottom cables. Yet, other geometries may also be selected, and a short review outlines pros and cons of various geometries that may be chosen.

This chapter focuses on orthogonal geometry. If 3-D symmetric sampling is taken as a starting point, the choice of parameters for this geometry is simplified considerably. Instead of having to decide on the shot interval and on the receiver interval, a decision need only be made as to the sampling interval. Similarly, the maximum inline and maximum crossline offsets can be made equal. It is also recommended to see what the consequences are of making the shot-line interval and the receiverline interval the same.

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