Since the reawakening of our interest in amplitude variation with offset analysis (AVO) by Ostrander (in Plane-wave reflection coeficients for gas and sands at non-normal incidence, Geophysics 1984), there has been phenomenal interest in the subject, and also a certain amount of controversy. On the one hand, there are many geophysicists who feel that AVO is the greatest thing to ever happen to the geophysical industry and who refuse to do any exploration work without including this technique. On the other hand, there is a second group of geophysicists who claim that the AVO method has been so strongly oversold that it has hurt the industry (see Geophysical credibility-A key to professional survival by Norman Neidell, December 1992 TLE). My own opinion is that the truth lies somewhere between these two polar extremities. However, at the risk of upsetting those who claim we have oversold the AVO method, the TLE Editorial Board has decided to put together this special issue. Our decision reflects both the large number of papers that have been submitted about the method and also our feeling that AVO deserves an objective overview from which the average geophysicist can decide about its applicability and usefulness.

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