Volume 45 Number 4
  • E-ISSN: 1365-2478


A commercial marine seismic survey has been completed with the wavefield from the ‐element (single guns and clusters) airgun array measured for every shot using an array of  + 2 near‐field hydrophones, of which were required to determine the source wavefield, the remaining two providing a check on the computation. The source wavefield is critical to the determination of the seismic wavelet for the extraction of reflection coefficients from seismic reflection data and for tying the data to wells.  The wavefield generated by the full array of interacting airguns can be considered to be the superposition of spherical pressure waves, or notional source signatures, the hydrophone measurements providing a set of simultaneous equations for each shot. The solution of the equations for the notional source signatures requires three ingredients: the geometry of the gun ports and near‐field hydrophones; the sensitivity of each hydrophone recording channel; and the relative motion between the near‐field hydrophones and the bubbles emitted by the guns. The geometry was measured on the back deck using a tape measure. A calibration data set was obtained at the approach to each line, in which each gun was fired on its own and the resulting wavefield was measured with the near‐field hydrophones and recorded. The channel sensitivities, or conversion from pressure at the hydrophones to numbers on the tape, were found for each near‐field hydrophone channel using the single gun calibration data, the measured geometry, and the peak pressure from each gun, known from the manufacturer’s calibration. The relative motion between the guns and hydrophones was obtained from the same calibration data set by minimizing the energy in the computed notional source signatures at the guns which did fire. The full array data were then solved for the notional source signatures, and the pressure was computed at the two spare hydrophones and compared with the actual recordings. The rms errors were 5.3% and 2.8% and would have been smaller if the hydrophone channel sensitivities had been properly calibrated beforehand and if the movement of the guns with respect to the hydrophones had been more restricted.  This comparison of the predicted and measured signatures at spare hydrophones can, in principle, be done on every shot and we recommend that this be implemented as a standard quality control procedure whenever it is desired to measure the wavefield of a marine seismic source.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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