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Clues to the lithology and fluid content of an exploration target may be revealed by analyzing variations of seismic reflectivity with source-receiver offset or reflection angle. Field recordings of seismic data, however, do not directly indicate target reflectivity, because numerous other factors (for example, geometric spreading, variations in shot strength or receiver coupling, multiple reflections, ground roll, transmission loss, dissipation, and noise) affect seismic amplitude (Ostrander, 1984; Dey-Sarkar, et al., 1986).

The contaminating influence of many of these factors can be ameliorated through data processing. Regrettably, the benefits of data processing cannot be realized without some risks: removing noise or other unwanted influences from seismic data may also distort or damage the underlying signal. Therefore, when data are processed for amplitude variation with offset (AVO) or amplitude variation with angle (AVA) analysis, the interpreter must know how the processing has affected the final results. To minimize processing artifacts and aid the interpreter's understanding of the processing strategy, displays of the data at the completion of processing and at several intermediate stages of the data processing flow are especially helpful.

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