Knowledge of ambient noise levels and of the physical mechanisms responsible for ambient noise is essential to optimize the return from a seismic acquisition system in petroleum exploration or reservoir monitoring. The ultimate goal of a seismic survey is to give the best image of the subsurface that the earth will allow for a given budget. Assuming that we have an acquisition system with sufficiently low system noise and that the processing can handle scattering and other “signal-generated” noise, our ability to image the subsurface will depend on the dynamic range between the earth's ambient noise and the clipping level...

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