Seismic images are inherently directionally biased by the source-receiver geometry. This directional bias is particularly problematic for seismic imaging in hard rock terrains where structural dips may have any orientation with respect to the surface. We tested a technique for partially mitigating directional bias by combining surface and borehole seismic data and evaluated the results of a first field test of the technique. In this technique, surface data acquired using standard 2D acquisition procedures were combined with borehole data derived from a walk-away vertical seismic profile (VSP). The VSP data were transformed into the borehole datum using seismic interferometry. The interferometry created virtual shot records comprising sources and receivers in the borehole. The virtual shot records were then processed, using standard common midpoint techniques, resulting in an image from the borehole datum. The combination of the surface and borehole data increased the range of illumination angles resulting in seismic images that included reflections from structures with a wider range of dips than is available to surface profiling alone. The field test demonstrated that the surface and borehole data provide complementary information, which is more than either data set alone can provide. The test also verified the robustness of the virtual source technique even when the original VSP data are highly contaminated by high-amplitude tube waves. These results demonstrated that the combined imaging approach has significant potential for application in the polydeformed hard rock domains often encountered in minerals exploration.

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