The impact of surface-wave attenuation on 3-D seismic survey design

Tomohide Ishiyama, Gerrit Blacquière, Wim A. Mulder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Three-dimensional seismic survey design should provide an acquisition geometry that enables imaging and amplitude-versus-offset applications of target reflectors with sufficient data quality under given economical and operational constraints. However, in land or shallow-water environments, surface waves are often dominant in the seismic data. The effectiveness of surface-wave separation or attenuation significantly affects the quality of the final result. Therefore, the need for surface-wave attenuation imposes additional constraints on the acquisition geometry. Recently, we have proposed a method for surface-wave attenuation that can better deal with aliased seismic data than classic methods such as slowness/velocity-based filtering. Here, we investigate how surface-wave attenuation affects the selection of survey parameters and the resulting data quality. To quantify the latter, we introduce a measure that represents the estimated signal-to-noise ratio between the desired subsurface signal and the surface waves that are deemed to be noise. In a case study, we applied surface-wave attenuation and signal-to-noise ratio estimation to several data sets with different survey parameters. The spatial sampling intervals of the basic subset are the survey parameters that affect the performance of surface-wave attenuation methods the most. Finer spatial sampling will reduce aliasing and make surface-wave attenuation easier, resulting in better data quality until no further improvement is obtained. We observed this behaviour as a main trend that levels off at increasingly denser sampling. With our method, this trend curve lies at a considerably higher signal-to-noise ratio than with a classic filtering method. This means that we can obtain a much better data quality for given survey effort or the same data quality as with a conventional method at a lower cost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-96
Number of pages11
JournalGeophysical Prospecting
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


  • Noise attenuation
  • Parameter estimation
  • Signal-to-noise ratio
  • Surface wave
  • Survey design

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