The essential criteria which determine the effectiveness of a shallow seismic reflection survey are its resolution and its sensitivity. The factors involved in the choice of equipment and field technique are reviewed with respect to these two primary objectives.

The analysis is developed from a consideration of the energy phases produced by a seismic source and the way desirable phases can be isolated and enhanced by single-channel and multi-channel recording. Specifications for the instrumentation and the field techniques can then be derived to satisfy the requirements of the processing methods. The primary considerations are (1) to preserve the maximum possible frequency content and bandwidth in the recorded data to enhance resolution, and (2) to suppress source-generated noise energy which is the principal limit on sensitivity.

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