The top 6 m of the near surface has a surprisingly large effect on the behavior of P- and S-waves. For unconsolidated sediments, the P-wave velocity gradient and attenuation can be quite large. Computer modeling should include these properties to accurately reproduce seismic effects of the near surface. We have used reverse VSP data and computer simulations to demonstrate the following effects for upgoing P-waves. Near the surface, we have observed a large time delay, indicating low velocity (160  m/s), and considerable pulse broadening, indicating high attenuation (Q1). Consequently, shallowly buried geophones have greater high-frequency bandwidth compared with surface geophones. In addition, there is a large velocity gradient in the shallow near surface (factor of 10 in 5 m), resulting in the rotation of P-waves to the vertical with progressively smaller amplitudes recorded on horizontal phones. Finally, we have found little indication of a reflection or ghost from the surface, although downgoing reflections have been observed from interfaces within the near surface. In comparison, the following have been observed for upgoing S-waves: There is a small increase in the time delay or pulse broadening near the surface, indicating a smaller velocity gradient and less change in attenuation. In addition, the surface reflection coefficient is nearly one with a prominent surface ghost.

You do not have access to this content, please speak to your institutional administrator if you feel you should have access.