The spatial distribution of an air-gun array and the ghost reflection from the air-water interface cause a directional pattern of the source signature and introduce notches at certain frequencies. This significantly limits the bandwidth of the seismic data and the ability to obtain high-resolution subsurface imaging. With mathematical derivation and numerical simulation, we have determined that the inline directivity relies on the number of air guns and their spacing. Furthermore, the effective width of the take-off angles for an air-gun array is highly correlated with the reciprocal of the distance variance along the inline direction, which is subsequently used for optimizing the source design. For a normal horizontal source, one could adjust the distance between two consecutive air guns to improve the source signature. We optimize the spatial distribution for air guns along the inline and depth directions, that is, by using the synchronized multidepth stimulation mode, to minimize the inline directivity. Simulated results show that a six-gun composed multidepth source could be designed to achieve nearly identical energy distribution with up to ±30° take-off angle for the high-frequency end up to 250 Hz. This represents a significant improvement compared to a normal horizontal source and is more suitable for high-resolution seismic acquisition.

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