The theory of seismic interferometry predicts that crosscorrelations of recorded seismic responses at two receivers yield an estimate of the interreceiver seismic response. The interferometric process applied to surface-reflection data involves the summation, over sources, of crosscorrelated traces, and it allows retrieval of an estimate of the interreceiver reflection response. In particular, the crosscorrelations of the data with surface-related multiples in the data produce the retrieval of pseudophysical reflections (virtual events with the same kinematics as physical reflections in the original data). Thus, retrieved pseudophysical reflections can provide feedback information about the surface multiples. From this perspective, we have developed a data-driven interferometric method to detect and predict the arrival times of surface-related multiples in recorded reflection data using the retrieval of virtual data as diagnosis. The identification of the surface multiples is based on the estimation of source positions in the stationary-phase regions of the retrieved pseudophysical reflections, thus not necessarily requiring sources and receivers on the same grid. We have evaluated the method of interferometric identification with a two-layer acoustic example and tested it on a more complex synthetic data set. The results determined that we are able to identify the prominent surface multiples in a large range of the reflection data. Although missing near offsets proved to cause major problems in multiple-prediction schemes based on convolutions and inversions, missing near offsets does not impede our method from identifying surface multiples. Such interferometric diagnosis could be used to control the effectiveness of conventional multiple-removal schemes, such as adaptive subtraction of multiples predicted by convolution of the data.

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