During seismic exploration, P-waves (also known as primary or compressive waves) penetrate down into the earth. When a P-wave hits an interface at an angle, part of the energy is converted to a reflected S-wave. Unlike P-waves, converted shear waves are largely unaffected by fluids. By analyzing the original and converted waves, seismologists obtain additional subsurface information, especially due to differential velocity (VP/VS), asymmetry in the waves’ angles of incidence and reflection and amplitude variations.
The primary method of hydrocarbon exploration today remains the use of P-wave seismic reflection data. In recent years though there has been a big push to acquire and process multicomponent data. Multicomponent seismic recording, measurement with vertical and horizontal component geophones, captures the seismic wavefield more completely than conventional single geophone techniques. Unconventional tools and special processing are needed to process multicomponent data and are critical for optimal imaging.
- Data rotation from field orientation to radial transverse orientation
- Solving static issues
- Multicomponent moveout – Slotboom NMO
- Shear-wave splitting and layer stripping
- Common Conversion Point (CCP) binning
- Specialized pre stack noise suppression techniques
- Multicomponent post and pre stack time migration
Image on left provided by Athabasca Oil Corp. – Hangingstone Project
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