In four-component (4-C) towed ocean-bottom-cable (OBC) data sets, acquisition footprints are often observed. Sometimes these exhibit a spatial period equal to the length of the receiver cable. I have analyzed a 2D 4-C OBC data set, looking at common-offset gathers (COG), spectral analyses, and hodogram analyses of the direct P-wave first breaks. The acquisition footprint is seen to be directly related to the following effects observed on a few of the multicomponent receivers, namely, those nearest to the towing vessel: significant delays on the inline component though not on the downgoing direct-P first breaks; depletion of higher frequencies (narrower bandwidth) on the inline component; and oscillatory motion closer to the vertical on the direct-P first breaks equivalent to decreased amplitude on the in-line component. This is interpreted to be a result of the towing procedure wherein the leading end of the cable, with the first few receiver modules, is raised from the seafloor and laid down again, relatively lightly, on top of seafloor material that might be poorly consolidated, while the trailing receivers are pulled through and down into this material. For these leading receiver modules, this results in poor inline horizontal coupling (i.e., slipping) and delayed P-S onsets due to their vertically higher positions (relative to the trailing receivers) and quite high near-seafloor VPVS ratios. To rectify this problem in future acquisition, a longer lead-in cable should prevent lifting of the leading receivers and allow all of them to couple with the seafloor in the same way. For data already acquired with an acquisition footprint on the inline component, a two-step process involving surface-consistent deconvolution or trace equalization and static correction is proposed.

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