ABSTRACT

Under certain circumstances, marine streamer data contain nongeometrical shear body wave arrivals that can be used for imaging. These shear waves are generated via an evanescent compressional wave in the water and convert to propagating shear waves at the water bottom. They are called “nongeometrical” because the evanescent part in the water does not satisfy Snell’s law for real angles, but only for complex angles. The propagating shear waves then undergo reflection and refraction in the subsurface, and arrive at the receivers via an evanescent compressional wave. The required circumstances are that sources and receivers are near the water bottom, irrespective of the total water depth, and that the shear-wave velocity of the water bottom is smaller than the P-wave velocity in the water, most often the normal situation. This claim has been tested during a seismic experiment in the river Danube, south of Budapest, Hungary. To show that the shear-related arrivals are body rather than surface waves, a borehole was drilled and used for multicomponent recordings. The streamer data indeed show evidence of shear waves propagating as body waves, and the borehole data confirm that these arrivals are refracted shear waves. To illustrate the effect, finite-difference modeling has been performed and it confirmed the presence of such shear waves. The streamer data were subsequently processed to obtain a shear-wave refraction section; this was obtained by removing the Scholte wave arrival, separating the wavefield into different refracted arrivals, stacking and depth-converting each refracted arrival before adding the different depth sections together. The obtained section can be compared directly with the standard P-wave reflection section. The comparison shows that this approach can deliver refracted-shear-wave sections from streamer data in an efficient manner, because neither the source nor receivers need to be situated on the water bottom.

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