High-resolution seismic data collected over a major U.S. coal basin indicated potential complex problems associated with interference reflections. These problems differed from those normally encountered in the exploration of oil and gas because of differences in the geologic boundary conditions. Modeling studies were conducted to investigate the effects of overlapping primary reflections and the composite reflection that result from stacking individual wavelets. A modified empirical formula of Lindseth's linear relationship between acoustic impedance and velocity is used to extrapolate velocity information from density logs to provide appropriate geophysical properties for modeling. The synthetic seismograms generated from density and synthetic sonic logs correlated well with the processed seismic data. A 150-Hz Ricker wavelet is used to convolve with the computer models, and the models showed that certain anomalous composite reflections result from the superposition of overlapping primary reflections. Depending on the traveltime delay of latter primary reflections, constructive or destructive interference could significantly alter the signature of the initial reflection associated with the bed of interest, which may lead to misinterpretations if not properly identified. The stratigraphic modeling technique further enhances the interpretation process and shows a close correlation with the seismic data, suggesting that more precise analytical methods need to be used to interpret, sometimes complex, high-resolution seismic data.

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