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Chapter 1 Introduction

The main objectives of seismic data processing are: Improving the seismic resolution. Increasing the S/N ratio.

There are three primary stages in processing seismic data. In their usual order of application, they are: Deconvolution: increases the vertical (time) resolution. Stacking: increases the S/N ratio. Migration: increases the horizontal resolution.

Secondary processes are implemented at certain stages to condition the data and improve the performance of these three processes.

Figure 1-1 shows a conventional seismic data processing flow (Yilmaz, 2001).

1. Preprocessing involves the following processes: Demultiplexing: The data is transposed from the recording mode, which is in time(channel) to the trace mode, which is in channel(time). Reformatting: The data is converted into a convenient format that is used throughout processing (e.g., SU and SEG-Y formats). Trace editing: Bad traces, or parts of traces, are muted or deleted from the data and polarity problems are fixed. Geometrical spreading correction (Gain application): Corrections are applied to account for amplitude loss due to spherical divergence and absorption.

Setup of field geometry: The geometry of the field is written into the data (trace headers) in order to associate each trace with its respective shot, offset, channel, and CMP. Application of field statics: In land surveys, elevation statics are applied to bring the traveltimes to a common datum level. 2. Deconvolution is performed along the time axis to increase vertical resolution by compressing the basic seismic wavelet to approximately a spike and suppressing reverberating wave trains. 3. CMP sorting consists of transforming the data from shot-receiver (shot gather) to midpoint-offset (CMP gather) coordinates using the field geometry information. 3. Velocity analysis is performed on selected CMP gathers to estimate the stacking velocities of each reflection. 4. Residual statics correction is usually needed for most land data. It corrects for variations in the lateral velocity and thickness of the weathering layer. 5. NMO correction and stacking: The stacking velocities are used to remove the effect of offset from the reflections in each CMP gather (NMO correction). The NMOcorrected traces in each CMP gather are summed over the offset (stacked) to produce a single trace. 6. Poststack processing includes demultipling, time-variant band-pass filtering, gain application, dip filtering, and other processes. 7. Migration: dipping events are moved to their true subsurface positions and diffractions are collapsed by migrating the stacked section using the medium velocity. The aim of seismic migration is to increase the horizontal resolution.