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An example of extreme near-surface variability in shallow seismic reflection data

Steven D. Sloan, J. Tyler Schwenk and Robert H. Stevens
An example of extreme near-surface variability in shallow seismic reflection data
Interpretation (Tulsa) (August 2016) 4 (3): SH1-SH9

Abstract

Variability of material properties in the shallow subsurface presents challenges for near-surface geophysical methods and exploration-scale applications. As the depth of investigation decreases, denser sampling is required, especially of the near offsets, to accurately characterize the shallow subsurface. We have developed a field data example using high-resolution shallow seismic reflection data to demonstrate how quickly near-surface properties can change over short distances and the effects on field data and processed sections. The addition of a relatively thin, 20 cm thick, low-velocity layer can lead to masked reflections and an inability to map shallow reflectors. Short receiver intervals, on the order of 10 cm, were necessary to identify the cause of the diminished data quality and would have gone unknown using larger, more conventional station spacing. Combined analysis of first arrivals, surface waves, and reflections aided in determining the effects and extent of a low-velocity layer that inhibited the identification and constructive stacking of the reflection from a shallow water table using normal-moveout-based processing methods. Our results also highlight the benefits of using unprocessed gathers to pragmatically guide processing and interpretation of seismic data.


ISSN: 2324-8858
EISSN: 2324-8866
Serial Title: Interpretation (Tulsa)
Serial Volume: 4
Serial Issue: 3
Title: An example of extreme near-surface variability in shallow seismic reflection data
Affiliation: U. S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS, United States
Pages: SH1-SH9
Published: 201608
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 24
Accession Number: 2017-002780
Categories: Applied geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sects.
Secondary Affiliation: XRI Geophysics, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 201703
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