Deghosting by echo-deblending

A. J Guus Berkhout, Gerrit Blacquière*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


A marine source generates both a direct wavefield and a ghost wavefield. This is caused by the strong surface reflectivity, resulting in a blended source array, the blending process being natural. The two unblended response wavefields correspond to the real source at the actual location below the water level and to the ghost source at the mirrored location above the water level. As a consequence, deghosting becomes deblending ('echo-deblending') and can be carried out with a deblending algorithm. In this paper we present source deghosting by an iterative deblending algorithm that properly includes the angle dependence of the ghost: It represents a closed-loop, non-causal solution. The proposed echo-deblending algorithm is also applied to the detector deghosting problem. The detector cable may be slanted, and shot records may be generated by blended source arrays, the blending being created by simultaneous sources. Similar to surface-related multiple elimination the method is independent of the complexity of the subsurface; only what happens at and near the surface is relevant. This means that the actual sea state may cause the reflection coefficient to become frequency dependent, and the water velocity may not be constant due to temporal and lateral variations in the pressure, temperature, and salinity. As a consequence, we propose that estimation of the actual ghost model should be part of the echo-deblending algorithm. This is particularly true for source deghosting, where interaction of the source wavefield with the surface may be far from linear. The echo-deblending theory also shows how multi-level source acquisition and multi-level streamer acquisition can be numerically simulated from standard acquisition data. The simulated multi-level measurements increase the performance of the echo-deblending process. The output of the echo-deblending algorithm on the source side consists of two ghost-free records: one generated by the real source at the actual location below the water level and one generated by the ghost source at the mirrored location above the water level. If we apply our algorithm at the detector side as well, we end up with four ghost-free shot records. All these records are input to migration. Finally, we demonstrate that the proposed echo-deblending algorithm is robust for background noise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-420
Number of pages15
JournalGeophysical Prospecting
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • Data processing
  • Deblending
  • Deghosting
  • Mathematical formulation
  • Signal processing


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