Abstract

Three-dimensional seismic reflection data from the Halfmile Lake area, New Brunswick, Canada, was reprocessed over an 18- km2 grid to improve the seismic signatures of a 5-million-ton volcanic-hosted massive sulfide (VHMS) deposit located at 1200-m depth, known as the deep zone, as well as key host-rock structures. We chose a prestack dip moveout (DMO) and poststack migration processing sequence to preserve the possible diffraction signature of the deep VHMS zone. Despite the high level of source-generated noise and large statics caused by near-surface conditions, our processing results revealed improved 3D seismic images for shallow and deep structures. Many of the imaged structures were easily correlated with known lithological con-tacts constrained by boreholes and petrophysical measurements. A short, flat-lying segment of high-amplitude reflection at about 800-m depth in the unmigrated cube was interpreted to originate from a small portion of the lower VHMS zone. The DMO stack was characterized by a large, high-amplitude asymmetric diffraction signature originating from the deep VHMS zone. The asymmetry of the diffraction hyperbola relative to the location of the deep zone was interpreted as resulting from a shape effect from the zone, with the strongest amplitudes along the diffraction hyperbola found north-northwest of the apex. This indicated that the deep VHMS zone dips in a similar direction. This diagnostic diffraction signature was not preserved with the prestack migration approach previously implemented for processing Halfmile Lake data.

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