The seismic trace is a complex aggregate of reflected and scattered signals from subsurface formation interfaces and heterogeneities. Although many varieties of random noise may also be present in the trace, we know from reacquiring the same seismic survey that seismic data are highly repeatable, indicating that significant information about the subsurface is contained in the trace but not yet used by our standard analysis methods. Seismic scattering is a type of signal contained in the data that is generally not utilized.

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