In this paper we discuss the behaviour of air gun source arrays in marine seismic acquisition. We comment the fact that the source configuration and depth are changing continually with the combined actions of surface waves, sea currents and general towing conditions. This has a direct effect on the emitted source pressure wave field and thus on the signature in the seismic data. We describe the method of backpropagation with relative motion that allows an efficient and robust estimation of notional and far-field signatures from near-field measurements at every shot point. The derived shot by shot signatures show very good correlation with sea-state and sea-currents, as we would expect. We show that the variation of the signature can affect the quality of seismic data. We demonstrate that the estimated far-field signatures describe the real variation of the signature in the data and we show how the estimated shot by shot signatures can be used to mitigate the effect of signature variations and thereby improve the quality of the seismic data.


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