Surface-related multiple elimination (SRME) is an algorithm that predicts all surface multiples by a convolutional process applied to seismic field data. Only minimal preprocessing is required. Once predicted, the multiples are removed from the data by adaptive subtraction. Unlike other methods of multiple attenuation, SRME does not rely on assumptions or knowledge about the subsurface, nor does it use event properties to discriminate between multiples and primaries. In exchange for this “freedom from the subsurface,” SRME requires knowledge of the acquisition wavelet and a dense spatial distribution of sources and receivers. Although a 2D version of SRME sometimes suffices, most field data sets require 3D SRME for accurate multiple prediction. All implementations of 3D SRME face a serious challenge: The sparse spatial distribution of sources and receivers available in typical seismic field data sets does not conform to the algorithmic requirements. There are several approaches to implementing 3D SRME that address the data sparseness problem. Among those approaches are pre-SRME data interpolation, on-the-fly data interpolation, zero-azimuth SRME, and true-azimuth SRME. Field data examples confirm that (1) multiples predicted using true-azimuth 3D SRME are more accurate than those using zero-azimuth 3D SRME and (2) on-the-fly interpolation produces excellent results.

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