Reflections in deep seismic reflection data tend to be visible on only a limited number of traces in a common midpoint gather. To prevent stack degeneration, any noncoherent reflection energy has to be removed.

In this paper, a standard classification technique in remote sensing is presented to enhance data quality. It consists of a recognition technique to detect and extract coherent energy in both common shot gathers and final stacks. This technique uses the statistics of a picked seismic phase to obtain the likelihood distribution of its presence. Multiplication of this likelihood distribution with the original data results in a “cleaned up” section. Application of the technique to data from a deep seismic reflection experiment enhanced the visibility of all reflectors considerably.

Because the recognition technique cannot produce an estimate of “missing” data, it is extended with a reconstruction method. Two methods are proposed: application of semblance weighted local slant stacks after recognition, and direct recognition in the linear τ-p domain. In both cases, the power of the stacking process to increase the signal-to-noise ratio is combined with the direct selection of only specific seismic phases. The joint application of recognition and reconstruction resulted in data images which showed reflectors more clearly than application of a single technique.

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