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In geophysical exploration, seismic data are acquired by firing an energy source on or near the Earth’s surface and recording the energy reflected back to the surface from the geologic substrata. This chapter discusses the methods by which the geophysicist detects reflected energy on land and offshore. Geo-phones are used by land explorers, and hydrophones are used in the marine exploration industry. The energy detected at the surface contains useful signal but also unwanted noise.

This chapter explains the operation of the receiver phone, how it converts acoustic energy into an electrical signal, and how this signal is passed along cables to recording instruments. Because much of the useful reflected energy is weak compared with geologically generated coherent surface noise (see Chapter 1), the geophysicist often must attempt to enhance the signal level and reduce the coherent noise level. We exploit the fact that the useful signal is arriving almost vertically when compared with the horizontally arriving noise. The signal is enhanced, when compared to the noise, by using many receivers in a geometric pattern that attenuates energy traveling horizontally. Such arrangements are known as arrays.

A complete discussion of array theory requires the reader to have a good knowledge of mathematics; since that is not the intention of this book, the mathematical treatise has been included as Appendix B. In contrast, this chapter describes a simple, practical approach to array design and noise attenuation that the reader can apply to real field problems with the aid of a simple

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