When seismic waves encounter abrupt points of stratum or lithology in the process of propagation, such as fault edges, pinch-out points, or the protrusion of unconformity surfaces, the Snell law will break down and many diffractions will be generated. However, the diffraction information is typically masked by strong reflections; thus, separating diffractions is one key issue for diffraction imaging. The traditional singular value decomposition (SVD) method with the ability for wavefield decomposition and reconstruction is useful in removing strong reflections of large singular values. However, the continuously changing characteristics of the singular value of steep-slope reflections make it difficult to choose a suitable parameter for separating diffractions. To solve the problem of singular value selection in diffractions reconstruction by the SVD method, we have developed a Cook-distance SVD method by mathematically least-squares measuring the contribution of every singular value. The Cook-distance SVD can amplify the difference between continuously changing singular values and easily find the singular values representing diffractions. Synthetic examples and field data applications demonstrate that our Cook-distance SVD method can avoid parameter testing and has good performance in diffraction separation and can highlight reservoir-involved small-scale geologic edges and scatterers.

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