Time-lapse (4D) seismic imaging is now widely used as a tool to map and interpret changes in deep reservoirs as well as investigate dynamic, shallow hydrological processes in the near surface. However, there are very few examples of time-lapse analysis using ultra-high-frequency (UHF; kHz range) marine seismic reflection data. Exacting requirements for navigation can be prohibitive for acquiring coherent, true-3D volumes. Variable environmental noise can also lead to poor amplitude repeatability and make it difficult to identify differences that are related to real physical changes. Overcoming these challenges opens up a range of potential applications for monitoring the subsurface at decimetric resolution, including geohazards, geologic structures, as well as the bed-level and subsurface response to anthropogenic activities. Navigation postprocessing was incorporated to improve the acquisition and processing workflow for the 3D Chirp subbottom profiler and provide stable, centimeter-level absolute positioning, resulting in well-matched 3D data and mitigating 4D noise for data stacked into 25×25  cm common-midpoint bins. Within an example 4D data set acquired on the south coast of the UK, interpretable differences are recorded within a shallow gas blanket. Reflections from the top and bottom of a gas pocket are imaged at low tide, whereas at high tide only the upper reflection is imaged. This case study demonstrates the viability of time-lapse UHF 3D seismic reflection for quantitative mapping of decimeter-scale changes within the shallow marine subsurface.

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