Multicomponent seismic recording (measurement with vertical- and horizontal-component geophones and possibly a hydrophone or microphone) captures the seismic wavefield more completely than conventional single-element techniques. In the last several years, multicomponent surveying has developed rapidly, allowing creation of converted-wave or P-S images. These make use of downgoing P-waves that convert on reflection at their deepest point of penetration to upcoming S-waves. Survey design for acquiring P-S data is similar to that for P-waves, but must take into account subsurface VP/VS values and the asymmetric P-S ray path. P-S surveys use conventional sources, but require several times more recording channels per receiving location. Some special processes for P-S analysis include anisotropic rotations, S-wave receiver statics, asymmetric and anisotropic binning, nonhyperbolic velocity analysis and NMO correction, P-S to P-P time transformation, P-S dip moveout, prestack migration with two velocities and wavefields, and stacking velocity and reflectivity inversion for S-wave velocities.

Current P-S sections are approaching (and in some cases exceeding) the quality of conventional P-P seismic data. Interpretation of P-S sections uses full elastic ray tracing, synthetic seismograms, correlation with P-wave sections, and depth migration. Development of the P-S method has taken about 20 years, but has now become commercially viable.

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