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Effective elimination of subharmonic ghost events from vibroseis dataNormal access

Authors: M. Stiller, K.-H. Jaeckel and M. Weber
Journal name: Geophysical Prospecting
Issue: Vol 60, No 6, November 2012 pp. 1095 - 1113
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2478.2011.01034.x
Organisations: Wiley
Language: English
Info: Article, PDF ( 2.44Mb )

Harmonic or subharmonic noise is often present in vibroseis data as reverberationlike, laterally coherent bands occurring parallel to and before or after, the main events. Such periodic noise is typically generated during the standard correlation process when the actual source signal travelling through the subsurface is, for whatever reason, different from the desired source signal, i.e., the pilot-sweep controlling the baseplate and used for correlation. A typical cause can be that harmonic or subharmonic frequency partials are generated in addition to the vibroseis sweep’s desired fundamental frequencies. These harmonics produce strong ‘ghost events’ during correlation of the geophone trace with the pilot-sweep, originating from additional correlations between the fundamental and harmonic frequencies. Especially subharmonic ‘ghosts’ will overlap with ‘good’ fundamental signals, since for typically used up-sweeps they are folded to later traveltimes, where the signal/noise-ratio is already lower, thus aggravating or preventing a reliable interpretation of possible later reflections. Here, a method is introduced to remove these unwanted noise trains (with only negligible impact on the fundamental signal) by transforming the seismogram traces into a so-called ‘(sub)harmonic domain’. In this domain, the respective harmonic noise portions are focused and separated from the fundamental signals, enabling easier detection and appropriate suppression. After back-transformation to the x-T domain, the records are free from the corresponding harmonic contamination and can then be processed as usual. The method operates in a data-driven fashion, i.e., the traces are not uniformly processed but are processed depending upon their actual (sub)harmonic content. The decontamination procedure can be applied universally, i.e., to uncorrelated/correlated and/or vertically unstacked/stacked data either in a manual, semiautomated or fully automated manner. The method works perfectly for synthetic vibroseis traces with or without harmonic/subharmonic portions. The application to real, crustal-scale vibroseis records that were acquired in 2006 in the Dead Sea region, Israel and that were severely contaminated by subharmonic groundroll ghosts covering reflectivity from the basement to theMoho, shows the robustness and success of the presented method.

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