A three-term (3T) amplitude-variation-with-offset projection is a weighted sum of three elastic reflectivities. Parameterization of the weighting coefficients requires two angle parameters, which we denote by the pair (γ,δ). Visualization of this pair is accomplished using a globe-like cartographic representation, in which longitude is γ, and latitude is δ. Although the formal extension of existing two-term (2T) projection methods to 3T methods is trivial, practical implementation requires a more comprehensive inversion framework than is required in 2T projections. We distinguish between projections of true elastic reflectivities computed from well logs and reflectivities estimated from seismic data. When elastic reflectivities are computed from well logs, their projection relationships are straightforward, and they are given in a form that depends only on elastic properties. In contrast, projection relationships between reflectivities estimated from seismic may also depend on the maximum angle of incidence and the specific reflectivity inversion method used. Such complications related to projections of seismic-estimated elastic reflectivities are systematized in a 3T projection framework by choosing an unbiased reflectivity triplet as the projection basis. Other biased inversion estimates are then given exactly as 3T projections of the unbiased basis. The 3T projections of elastic reflectivities are connected to Bayesian inversion of other subsurface properties through the statistical notion of Bayesian sufficiency. The triplet of basis reflectivities is computed so that it is Bayes sufficient for all rock properties in the hierarchical seismic rock-physics model; that is, the projection basis contains all information about rock properties that is contained in the original seismic.

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