Multicomponent seismic data provide the potential to better characterize the subsurface than do P-wave data alone. Converted waves (C-waves) and pure shear waves can be used to validate bright spot reflections, provide Poisson's ratio estimates, provide reflection images where the P-wave reflectivity contrast is small, image through gas clouds where the P-wave signal is attenuated/scattered, and detect/characterize fractures through shear-wave splitting.

Two-dimensional nine-component seismic experiments in the mid-1970s illustrated the complementary information provided by P-wave (P-P), S-wave (SH-SH), and C-wave reflection data (Garotta, 2000). Multicomponent data acquisition then fell somewhat out of favor with the acceptance of 3D P-wave seismic...

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