Field data acquired from a seismic vessel by a seabed hydrophone is used to analyze the broadband response (10 Hz to 62.5 kHz) for various source configurations: single air guns, clustered air guns, and a full array consisting of 30 air guns. The various parts of the acoustic signal are analyzed in detail, and it is found that a high-frequency signal arriving prior to the main peak of a single air-gun signal most likely is caused by small vapor cavities collapsing at or close to the surface of the gun. This is confirmed by high-speed photographs taken when a small air gun is fired in a water tank. When the full array is used, a second type of cavitation signal is observed: ghost cavitation caused by acoustic stimulation by the negative pressure that is backscattered from the free surface. As this ghost signal from 30 different guns arrives at a specific location in the water, cavities might be formed, and they create a high-frequency acoustic signal.

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