We show that SV-P reflectivity closely matches P-SV reflectivity; thus, in concept, an SV-P image should be as informative and as valuable as a P-SV image for seismic interpretation purposes. If the dip of rock layering is not severe, the length of the SV raypath involved in SV-P imaging is approximately the same as the length of the SV raypath in P-SV imaging; thus, the important lithology-sensitive VP/VS velocity ratio determined with SV-P data should be approximately the same as the VP/VS velocity ratio determined with P-SV data. We compare velocities used in P-SV imaging and SV-P imaging to emphasize the equivalence of P-SV and SV-P stacking velocities, and therefore seismic-derived VP/VS velocity ratios, obtained with both converted-wave modes. We compare images of P-SV and SV-P data to illustrate the high-quality images that can be made with a SV-P mode. The SV-P data used in these comparisons are recorded by vertical geophones, whereas the P-SV data are recorded by horizontal geophones. In the real-data examples we present, the energy sources that produced the downgoing SV wavefield are vertical-force sources, not horizontal-force sources. A vertical vibrator is used in the first case, and shot-hole explosives are used in the second case. The interpretation technology described here thus introduces the option of extracting valuable S-wave information and images from legacy P-wave data generated by a vertical-force source and recorded with only 1C vertical geophones. We discuss several principles involved in constructing SV-P images from VSP data because of the importance that VSP technology has in calibrating depth-based geology with surface-recorded SV-P data. We emphasize that cautious and attentive data processing procedures are required to segregate SV-P reflections and P-P reflections in VSP data.

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