Abstract

Numerical modeling results and field data indicate that some contrasting subsurface objects (such as tunnels, caves, pipes, filled pits, and fluid-filled fractures) are capable of generating durable resonant oscillations after trapping seismic energy. These oscillations consist of surface types of circumferential waves that repeatedly propagate around the object. The resonant emission of such trapped energy occurs primarily in the form of shear body waves that can be detected by remotely placed receivers. Resonant emission reveals itself in the form of sharp resonant peaks for the late parts of the records, when all strong direct and primary reflected waves are gone. These peaks were observed in field data for a buried barrel filled with water, in 2D finite-difference modeling results, and in the exact canonical solution for a fluid-filled sphere. A computed animation for the diffraction of a plane wave upon a low-velocity elastic sphere confirms the generation of resonances by durable surface waves. Resonant emission has characteristic quasi-hyperbolic traveltime patterns on shot gathers. The inversion of these patterns can be performed in the frequency domain after muting the strong direct and primary scattered waves. Subsurface objects can be detected and imaged at a single resonance frequency without an accurate knowledge of source trigger time. The imaging of subsurface objects requires information about the shear velocity distribution in an embedding medium, which can be done interactively during inversion.

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