Seismic Acquisition and Processing
The data recorded by seismic receivers in the field bears little resemblance to geology. The objective of seismic processing is to take the field data and produce as clear an image of the geology as possible. In the past, the steps of data acquisition, data processing and data interpretation were carried out by separate groups who had (it seemed) little communication between them. The results were not always optimal. The need for integration all long the workflow is now generally realized. For example, data acquisition people need to know the depth to the targets of interest, their dimensions and structural dips. Seismic processing incorporates “judgment calls” that can affect the interpretability of the data. Also, increasing numbers of seismic interpreters are interactively reprocessing seismic data themselves in order to enhance features of interest.
One of the primary problems related to reflection seismology that needs to be overcome is that the reflections we wish to record are very weak. Many of the methods used during acquisition and processing are designed to amplify the reflections of interest and to help boost the signal-to-noise ratio. This theme will be emphasized throughout this chapter.
To be a good interpreter, one needs to have some understanding (albeit qualitative) of the steps involved in data acquisition and processing. This chapter will introduce some of the basic concepts in these two fields. The focus will be on 2-D seismic acquisition and processing as it is best to understand the relatively simplified procedures involved in 2-D work before