A seismic source excites a rich variety of elastic waves in the Earth, so it seems reasonable to try to use them all to create a more compelling picture of the subsurface. While P-wave imaging has been enormously successful in this regard, there are conditions when it is less so. But, the demands of energy discovery and recovery require an increasingly comprehensive portrayal of reservoir lithologies, stresses, fractures, and fluids. The multicomponent seismic method is a superset of conventional seismic technology and has the potential to answer to some of these demands. Recording horizontal motion, as well as vertical vibrations and pressures, allows further capturing of the full seismic wavefield, and the additional resultant pictures can provide greater comprehension of subsurface properties, fluids, and their changes. We might liken this to a more complete conversation with “loud” waves (P-waves arriving first with high amplitudes) and “shy” waves (S-waves with lower voices and a more complicated message).

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