Some commercially available marine seismic sources produce very broad-band signals. A high-resolution source signature can have a rise time of six-hundredths of a millisecond and a duration lens than two-tenths of a millisecond. Such sources, capable of penetrating tens of meters of sea-floor sediment with resolution on the order of a decimeter, are used extensively for engineering and environmental purposes. The digital recording and processing of data provided by them is increasingly common as faster and cheaper elcetronics become available . Thus two questions arise; how fast should they be sampled and to how many bits resolution? These questions have been addressed experimentally by field observation, but complete answers require a reconsideration of some traditional assumptions. That leads to conclusions that leem to fly in the face of conventional wisdom .


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