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The resolution possible in imaging with diffracted seismic wavesNormal access

Authors: Suhas Phadke and Ernest R. Kanasewich
Journal name: Geophysical Prospecting
Issue: Vol 38, No 8, November 1990 pp. 913 - 931
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2478.1990.tb01882.x
Organisations: Wiley
Language: English
Info: Article, PDF ( 924.81Kb )

The determination of the vertical and lateral extent of discontinuities is an important aspect of interpreting seismic reflection data. The Common Fault Point (CFP) stacking method appears to be promising in imaging discontinuities in acoustic impedance by making use of diffracted energy from a spatial array of receivers. The problems of vertical and lateral resolution in the method are most important when carrying out an interpretation.

Source signature, subsurface velocities and the depth of the discontinuity are the most important parameters affecting the resolution. We use, for a perfectly coherent source, the first derivative of the Gaussian function which is an antisymmetric band-limited wavelet. Rayleigh's, Ricker's and Widess' criteria are also applicable to this wavelet. The limits of vertical and lateral resolution are illustrated by using a step fault and a dike model respectively. The vertical resolution of the CFP method is found to be of the order of λ/16 which is half the theoretically predicted value for a single receiver. The lateral resolution is still limited by the size of the Fresnel zone which depends upon the velocity, two-way time and the dominant frequency of the wavelet. The resolution limits of the CFP method are compared with that of the CDP method, prestack migration and post-stack migration. Obtaining high resolution with real data is limited by the extent to which it is possible to generate a coherent source or to simulate one during computer processing with before stack seismic data. The CFP method is an artificial intelligence approach to imaging diffracting points as it localizes parts of the structure that scatter acoustic waves.

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