The sea surface acts as a very strong reflector because of the large impedance contrast between water and air. The reflection coefficient is 1 in a very good approximation. Apart from the surface multiples, the sea surface is also responsible for generating the source and receiver ghost wavefields. These cause the well-known ghost notches in the spectrum: areas where the signal-to-noise ratio is very low. To model the ghost wavefields, ghost operators can be computed and applied to ghost-free data. Modeling experiments indicate that in the case of a flat sea surface, the character of the notches in various gather types, e.g., receiver gather, common-offset gather, shot record, is largely determined by the complexity of the earth. In a simple earth, e.g., horizontally layered, the notches are always well-defined and deep, but in a complex earth, they become blurry in some of the gather types. Therefore, in the case of a complex subsurface, source deghosting is best carried out in the common-receiver domain and receiver deghosting is best carried out in the common-shot domain. In the case of a simple subsurface, deghosting can be carried out in all domains. An additional factor is that the sea surface may be rough and dynamic. This causes blurry ghost notches in all gather types, even in the case of a simple earth. To model the source ghost for this situation, an effective static rough sea surface suffices. This keeps the computations simple. The condition is that the source has an impulsive character. However, to model the receiver ghost (and the source ghost for a nonimpulsive source), the dynamics of the sea surface must be included. This can be done by composing the final result from the results computed for several “frozen” snapshots of the dynamic sea surface.

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