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,

VOL.

XXIV,

NO.

2 (APRIL,

19593, PP.

233-261,

20 FIGS.

WATER

REVERBERATIONS-THEIR

MILO

NATURE

M. BACKUSt

AKD

ELIMINATION*

ABSTRACT In offshore shooting the validity of previously recorded seismic data has been severely limited by multiple reflections within the water layer. The magnitude of this problem is dependent on the thickness and the nature of the boundaries of the water layer. The effect of the water layer is treated as a linear filtering mechanism, and it is suggested that most apparent water reverberation records probably contain some approximate subsurface structural information, even in their present form. The use of inverse filtering techniques for the removal or attenuation of the water reverberation efiect is discussed. Examples show the application of the technique to conventional magnetically recorded offshore data. It has been found that the effectiveness of the method is strongly dependent on the instrumental parameters usedin the recordingof the original data.

ITTRODUCTIOI;

In marine seismic operations, the water-air interface is a flat, strong reflector, with a reflection coefficient close to - 1. In many areas the water-bottom interface is also a strong reflector. We then have an energy trap-a non-attenuating imedium bounded bye two strong reflecti-ng i-nterfaces. A pulse ge~nerated in the trap, or entering the trap from below, will be successively reflected between the two interfaces, with a time interval equal to the two-way travel time and an amplitude decay dependent on the reflection coefficients. As a result, valid primary reflections from depth are obscured by previously established reverberations. This water reverberation problem was first recognized on the basis of the apparent periodicity of a suite of seismograms from the Persian Gulf and was treated for the one-layer case by wave-guide theory (Burg et al., 1951). Since then, singing records have been recognized as a serious and widespread limitation to the acquisition of valid subsurface structural information, particularly in the Persian Gulf and in Lake Jlaracaibo. The problem has also been recognized in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of California, and it is present to some degree in any marine operation. The water reverberation problem has been examined experimentally in model studies by Sarrafian (1956). The equivalent problem for a dipping bottom was studied and utilized in the interpretation by Poulter (1950) in his Antarctic studies. In the first part of this paper, the water reverberation problem is examined approximately as a linear filtering problem. The predicted effect of the water layer on seismic data is discussed on the basis of this analysis. In the second

* Paper read at the 28th Annual International Meeting of the Society at San dntonio on October 16, 1958. Manuscript received by the Editor December 3, 1958. t Geophysical Service Inc., Dallas, Texas. 233

234

MILO M. BACKUS

section, experimental data on the nature of water reverberation records is presented. Finally, the use of inverse filtering to eliminate or reduce the water reverberation effect is discussed and some examples are presented.

MARINE SHOOTI&‘ G InTERMS OF LINEAR YILTERIXG

It is useful to regard the reflection seismic method as an attempt to obtain approximately the impulse response of the subsurface to Vertically travelling energy. The amplitude peaks in the impulse response are then interpreted in terms of subsurface layering. Filtering of the impulse response in the instruments, necessary for a satisfactory signal-to-noise ratio, results in a degradation of the data

FIG. 1. Summary of marine-reflectinn technique in terms of linear filtering.

as does filtering in the ground due to frequency dependent attenuation. The water layer in marine work may be regarded as an additional undesirable and extremely sharp filter which is acting on the data. A picture of the factors acting on the data in marine work which may be considered approximately as filtering effects is provided in Figure 1. The actual order of occurrence is shifted for clarity in developing the final form of the seismic signal. The marine seismic sourcej typically 15 to 25 lb of high velocity dynamite detonated 4 to 6 ft below the surface, produces a disturbance which may, on the seismic time scale, be regarded essentially as a positive pressure impulse (Cole, 1948). The reflection from the water-air interface is presumably small due to the ln~ oft energy in cavitation. The pressure pulse reverberates within the water layer, producing a series of pulses. The signal is further shaped according to the position of the transducer with respect to the free surface, and this effect will be treated as a separate filtering effect. The ringing signal is also transmitted into the subsurface and simply reflected back into the water layer. This is the portion

“) = .V&u R=----------= reflection coefficient of water-rock interface. The water-layer filter not only constitutes a sharply ringing filter but one with characteristics which vary along the line.= = two-way travel time between seis and water surface. section multiples may essentially pass through a number of sections of the water-layer filter.l)“RQ(t n=O ~7~).f(l - where f(lj = 5 (. The records we obtain are then similar (except for a compounding effect on section multiples) to what we could obtain by using a very ringing filter on land records.. = 2d.) Ts). RI= 1/2p2~l. 7./l-. g(t) = S(l) 6(1 7.go (-~YRW~ = j(t) . two-way travel time between water surface and water bottom. R6(t - 7. The data then passes through the instrumental filters and conventionallyis nonlinearly treated by automatic gain control. varying the filter from profile to profile.=2dw/‘ IT.j 2 71 ” = (11 (-1)nR7L6(1 UT. The Water-Layer Filter d. d. Primary reflections thus essentially pass through two sections of the water-layer filter. (21 For an impulsive input to the water layer. The transducer output would represent the successive reflections between the two interfaces and would be of the form.5 of the filtering process which provides the desired data. 1/1p1.Pz+~‘Pl l VIP1 = travel time between ocean bottom and subsurface reflection coefficient at subsurface interface Consider an upward travelling impulsive plane wave.. FlPlf T/U&U ~1= 2dJVl= two-way reflection.. g(t) is measured as the output.= water depth.. Upon their re-entry into the water layer. = pressure transducer depth.) 27. entering the water layer from below.) + R%(t - ’ m.)+ RS(t - Tc - 7. at 1=0 (Figure 2). This filter may be broken . arrivals from the subsurface ring again. Similarly. arriving at Z=d. Equation (1) thus represents the impulse response of the filter equivalent to the effect of the water layer and the measurement position. 7.WATER REVERBERATIONS 23. 7.

)e-+‘ t d (3) --m CE which is the binomial expansion for j+) 1 = .AL?$5 w corresponding to equation (2) in the article by Burg et al. 2. and below by a hard bottom of reflectioncoefficientR. Schematicdiagram of a water layer (VW. for two cases:~ R-l. Equation (4a) is plotted in Figure 3 for a water depth.236 MILO M.(S cc l)“RQ(t - nr. d. and (b) the filtering effect due to the relationship between seismometer and the free surface.__ ~ 1 + Re-i” u ‘ . and R=O. R sin (~7~) 1+ R cos(wT~J (4b) In the limiting case of a perfectly rigid bottom. = -I FIG. The equivalent frequency response may be obtained from (2).p. up into two parts: (a) that which is independent of transducer depth [equation (2)].J boundedabove by a perfect reflectorRF . etc. comes R = 1 and equation (4a) be- which blows up at the resonant frequencies. F(w) = * C. 62 cps. iYe shall consider that part of the filter which is independent of the means of recording as the water-layer filter. (1951).. (4a) 1 F(o) 1 = (1 + @(CO) tan-‘ = - R?+ 2R cos [(JT~])-~/~. BACKUS -rr R.=lOO ft.5 Then water lawyeris equivalent to a sharply peaked comb filter with resonance at a fundamental frequency of 123 cps and at the odd harmonics 37 cps. 87 cps. . If we recorded data which had been (6) .1.

. if R<O. the degree of peaking at resonance changes. the ocean-bottom reelection coefficient. using a pass-band from 2G55 cps. As R . For an incident plane wave travelling at an angle i with the vertical. we would essentially obtain a 37-cps sine wave. cps to the right. that is. in equation (4) by rU cos i. Thus we would expect often to obtain a nearly pure sine wave even on a wide-band recording. and the filtering due to seismometer depth is gently peaked. equation (4a) becomes. If the ocean bottom is acoustically soft. the effective filtering of the water layer is given by replacing r.WATER REVERBERATIONS 237 passed through this filter. For different water depths the frequency scale in Figure 3 is merely expanded or compressed. inspection of equation (4) shows that the same shape filter is obtained except that the frequency scale must be shifted f= 1/. Often the energy returning from the subsurface is enriched in certain frequencies. For the limiting case./4d. (7) which blows up at the resonant frequencies. changes. R= -1.

. the filtering effect would be of the form. j” . the pressure transducer in a homogeneous half-space sees the direct arrival and the inverted reflection from the free interface. For this reason. 50. \I’ shall now examine the filtering which is associated with the transducer e position relative to the free surface. For the case illustrated in Figure 3. using automatic gain control. As shown in equation (l).(w) = 1 + e-iwra. resonance occurs at 0. acoustically soft layer on a lake bottom has been discussed by Jones et al. The frequency response of this filter is. (10) 1 I. The Filterilzg EJect of Seismometer Depth The complete alteration of the signal in equation (1) was broken up into two parts. which shows vertical reflection energy recorded from a vertical pressure spread. the effect of pressure-seismometer depth is equivalent to a filter with an impulse response. BACKUS In addition to a resonance at f= 0. The effect of this filter on seismic reflection character is also illustrated in Figure 4. etc.(t) = b(1) - cqt - Ts). for a velocity seismometer at depth d. and because of the general shape of the filter. F.238 MILO M. (9) This merely expresses the fact that for an uptravelling wave. a pressure seismometer depth of 10-E ft is most commonly used in marine work. 75. It may also be seen that small variations in seismometer depth are less significant when the peak of the seismometer response is somewhat to the right of the signal spectrum.(W) j = / 2 sin (7) j (lOa) 1Ob) Similarly. Phase lag is positive. 25. The predicted increase in low frequency response with increasing seismometer depth is apparent. (1958). we have resonance at a fundamental and all harmonic frequencies. 100 cps. ICffectof the IT7ater-Layer Filler OILSubsurjace Rejlectious iYe now shall consider the effect of the water layer on the seismic reflection .the use of the wave equation and the appropriate boundary conditions. The same results may be obtained in a straightforward manner by. (11) The amplitude and phase response [equation (10) ] is illustrated in Figure 5 for seismometer depths of 10 and 25 ft. The nature of one example of a thin..

z = d. 4. In addition to the signal trapped in the water layer [of the form in equation (l)]. process in the simple case in Figure 5 in which there is a single subsurfac-e reflector. + TsJ. (n+l) in phase arrivals.+~.SEISAPWETER CHCRACTER FIG. will be de- . The initial arrival will be of the form f&) = (1 P)R& r1 T.]. at t = 0.WATER REVERBERATIONS 239 FEET 2 6 IO 14 16 22 26 30 34 36 Upward Traveling lmpulsivr PIone Wove f(t) q 6(1) ILLlJSTRIITlcW Of EFFECT DEPTH CW IifFLECTM Ct. (12) where (1 --R”) is the two-way transmission coefficient at the water-rock interface. At t= [~l+(n+l)~.. Consider the injection into the system of a downward travelling impulsive plane pressure wave.. reflected up from the subsurface once and reflected upward from the water-bottom ?z times. we would measure energy reflected from the subsurface interface. Filtering effect of seismometer depth for a pressure seismometer.

k. by considering all possible ray-path segments with associated reflection and transmission coefficients. (n +j ij K)! k) 1 II ! represents the number of different permutations of the different ray-path seg- . Schematic diagram of the same conditions as shown in Figure 2 with the addition of a single subsurface reflector of reflection coefficient RI. +j. The multiplier. we can formulate the complete expression for the signal picked up by the transducer. + TV) + c j=l k=j-1 j(t) = 2 (n=. In equation (14) thejth term represents all energy which has been reflected upward from the deep interface j times. The 92th term in the inner sum represents the energy for a givenj and K which has been multiply reflected n times in the water-layer trap. Rlj c k=O (- l)“(l . and summing in-phase arrivals. +zc l)“f’ V@ R ~7. (j - ~+-k+W[t .) (-l)+ + the R2)Ri 5 ?Z=O ljm[t .$2 - (92+ j .f’ t ( .f0 TJ.R2)(i--k)RX (14) .k)Tw + 7. The pressure signal resulting from all events singly reflected from subsurface interface will thus be of the form g’ t) = f’ t) ( ( f’ t) ( = (1 . 5.q I.T1.240 MILO M.7.(S + ijJw+ Ts]. g(O = SO) + f(t) . BACKUS FIG. tected. The Kth term for a particular j represents all energy which has been reflected upward j times from the deep reflector and has suffered K downward reflections from the water-rock interface. (13) Similarly. n=” 2 ____(pzK)!n! i(-1.

since there are three independent permutations of the ray-path segments which constitute simultaneous in-phase arrivals. each curve is shifted 5. For example. j&R” = Rl/’ zz e--h. 6. This formulation becomes cumbersome in more complex multilayered cases. K. This illustrates the basis for the initial increase in amplitude of the water reverberations due to an initial arrival from depth when the water-bottom coefficient is greater than 0. n=O) term of the second sum. n. ments for a given j. The cases plotted are for R1=O. shows simple exponential decay. 0.5~~. all curves are shifted 6j decibels upward. K=O. the second water multiple from a primary reflection will have higher amplitude than the initial arrival from the primary reflection. the initial arrival from depth would have an amplitude of RI (i-R2).2. which represents the energy which never leaves the water layer..5. 3 is plotted for R= 0. Ray paths corresponding to particular terms in equation (14). The only term in equation (14) which represents a desired signal is the (j= 1.l.5. The curve forj= 0. The ratio of the second reverberation to the initial arrival would then be 3RZ.WATER REVERBERATIONS 241 FIG. Looking at the upper example. In Figure 6 the ray paths (distorted to a point source for clarity) corresponding to several particular terms in equation (14) are illustrated. To obtain results for ir=.6j units to the right. the results for Figures 7-9. to obtain the results for rl= 10.7 respectively in However. The other terms all represent ringing due to the water-layer filter and section multiples. hut it is quite convenient for examining the amplitude relationships for the different kinds of arrivals.67. different values of RI and 71 may be conveniently obtained merely by shifting the curves.. Amplitude as a function of time for the arrivals corresponding to j= 0.ST~. . Thus if R2 is greater than +. 1. R1=0. and 0. 2.3. T~=.

Calculated for a plane wave. initially increases with time for R>O. The rate of decay for j = 1 is always less than that in equation (15)) approaching (15) as k-+ CCI .00001 . Relative amplitudes and signs for termsj=O. 2. subsurface attenuation neglected. BACKUS Actually. no matter how high R is. which represents energy reflected upward only once from the subsurface.5.242 MILO M. Case 1. Thus we would expect that subsurface reflected energy will always eventually become dominant over water confined energy.000001 FIG. the curve for j= 1. except . . 3. 7. 1.

3. 8. in general. Case 2. Relative amplitudes and signs for termsj=O. shows a more pronounced increase with time The initial peculiar behavior is due to inter- . subsurface attenuation neglected. an inspection of Figures 7-9. suggests that. 2.WATER REVERBERATIONS 243 FIG. when R = 1. subsurface reflected energy should become dominant early on most marine records. Section multiple reflection energy. Furthermore. 1. illustrated forj= 2 and j= 3. considering reasonable values for reflection coefficients. Calculated for a plane urave.

3. Thus the dominant portion of the section multiple energy essentially passes through the waterlayer filterj times. The mere presence of a perfect reflector at the air-water inter- FIG. Case 3. 2. Relative amplitudes and signs for termsj=O. .ference between the reverberations corresponding to different values of k. 9. However. Calculated for a plane wave. subsurface attenuation neglected. the energy for k=O always rapidly becomes dominant. and it is the only significant energy involved at the point of maximum amplitude. 1.

they would often be considerably delayed in time and would be structurally biased by the water-bottom structure. Slructural Implicatiom of a Conoentioplal Singing Record Interpretation \Ve can thus infer that a conventional interpretation area should give the following results. therefore. subsurface energy should become dominant early on the record. (17) In Figure 9. However. represent water rever- . for j= 1. (2) When data connected with a given primary reflector are picked. For example.WATER REVERBERATIONS 245 face increases the expectation of section multiples over that encountered on land. of records in a singing (1) Very shallow picks on the record might represent water-confined energy and hence give a simply exaggerated picture of the ocean-bottom structure.+I--~]. Section multiples involving more than one subsurface interface would be even more emphasized on marine records. k as a continuous function of n.. In general. By regarding the amplitude coefficient for a particular j. and the dominant energy at any particular time would be connected with different.“~~ occurs at jZ=%. In this particular case. 31. in general. This delay could easily be on the order of one second. due again to the existence of multiple in-phase ray paths. (4) Deeper structural indications would. In general. the maximum amplitude.4 very small change in any of the reflection coefficients would change considerably the point on the record where we would read the data connected with any particular primary reflection. we would not pick the energy from the primary reflection until a time 2rW to 37. after the initial arrival. . later initial arrivals of primary reflections would be buried under previously established reverberations. the enhancement or compounding of section multiples by the waterlayer filter is an even more significant factor. the initial arrival from the subsurface is concealed by the waterconfined reverberations. and we would only read the data after it had undergone a number of reverberations within the water layer. expect section multiple energy to be very important on most marine singing records. however. The maximum amplitude is then. (3) The records should lack continuity. we can predict the delay between the initial arrival and the point of maximum energy arrival. subsurface reflectors as one moves laterally across a section. We should.

a Successive arrivals with a constant time interval are very apparent. The effect of the water layer on primary reflection energy is equivalent to the use of very tight ringing filters on land. and the vertical lines in Figure 11 show the standard deviation. and interval velocity below that depth should increase with depth from an initial value of about 10. EXPERIMEh-TAL DtlTA OS THE SATURE OF WATER REVERBERATIOiS RECORDS In Figure 10 a textbook-type example of the water reverberation problem in the Persian Gulf is provided. however. The measured normal-movement velocities were consistently intermediate between expected values for subsurface primaries and purely water-confined energy. hence they would show exaggerated shallow structure biased by exaggerated water-bottom structure. the time interval indicates a trap depth of 210 ft.0 to 1. that in the case of a reasonably conformable subsurface. There is no evidence for average velocity values of 5000 ft per set which should be present if purely water-confined energy were dominant on any part of the record. It is concluded on the basis of normal moveout that the dominant data on near!y all of the water-reverber ation records we have studied represents water reverberations connected with reflections from the subsurface and that the . However.246 MZLO M. On the basis of Figure 11. a flat water bottom. Note that successive reflections are inverted due to the inversion at the free surface and lack of inversion at the water bottom. Ll’ rmal Moreout Data o The results of a conventional normal movement analysis of 15 profiles from the Persian Gulf (Figure 19) are shown in Figure 11. The actual velocity as a function of depth is not well established for this area! but it is expected to be of the order of 7000 ft per set to a depth of 1000 to 1500 ft. BACKUS berations excited by section multiples. with deeper penetration dominating in the interval from 2 to 3 sec. Velocities computed from normal moveout and the delta-T due to dip across the record are shown. and large simple structures. sufficient structural information is included in the ringing records as they stand. Average velocities were computed by using straight ray-path formulae. (5) True deep unconformable structure would be masked by reverberations connected with shallow reflectors. %‘ ter depth is 195 ft according to fathometer data. An additional suite of more than 200 profiles from an entirely different waterreverberation area were similarly analyzed with similar results. to locate these structures approximately. except that the characteristics of the filter are changed from profile to profile. It is important to note.5 set. The computed velocity ranges from about 6000 to 8000 ft per sec. it may be inferred that energy associated with the very shallow section (reverberations set up by primaries and section multiplesj is dominant over the first 1.000 ft per sec.

.

in this case actually close to that for a SOOO-ft-per-seeaverage velocity.248 MILO M. Up to about 0. travel path is made up of the ordinary subsurface travel path plus a path representing a large number of successive reflections within the water layer .\verage velocit). At about 0. . The pass band through which the data had been filtered previous to analysis was about 20 to 120 cps including the pressure transducer .5 set the events have quite excessive normal moveout.Irzalysis The Fourier transform of four segments of the fourth trace of the profile illustrated in Figure 10 was computed. and successive reverberations connected with this subsurface reflection may be seen following. BACKUS FIG. Frequency _. an event appears with nearly the proper normal moveout.6 set.versus center trace time from a normal moveout anal>-& of the profiles shown in Figure 19. The amplitude as a function of frequency is displayed in Figure 13. and at 3-cps intervals over the rest of the range from 6 to 120 cps. Amplitude coefficients were computed at l-cps intervals over the range 45 cps to 63 cps. This sort of behavior is very common in areas where a moderate singing record problem is present. 11. This record was dynamically corrected for the expected normal moveout for primary events. A more striking example of the normal moveout criterion is supplied in Figure 12 in which the singing is not nearly as obvious as in the previous examples. The utility of dynamically corrected record sections is immediately apparent for this type of work where normal moveout constitutes a significant criterion in the identification of events.

WATER REVERBERATIONS 249 .

5 ft. The relative complexity of the spectra is additional evidence indicating the importance of the energy returning from the subsurface. we predict resonances at 6 cps and all odd harmonics plotted as open circles in Figure 13. particularly at 42 and 54 cps. This dominance is attributed to the relative enrichment of frequencies from 30 to 60 cps in the energy returning from the subsurface. In Figure 13. A plot of amplitude decay with the effect of spherical divergence approxi- . several traces from a constant-gain recording in the Persian Gulf.13. soft layer overlying the hard bottom. Amplitude Decay Data In Figure 14. is quite apparent on all segments of the record. of response. while the lower seismic frequencies are most affected by the hard bottom interface. and the effective response of this filter is shown in Figure 4. Water depth was 195 ft. Frequencyanalysisof four segments Trace 4. Figure 10. Seismometer depth was 2. The data fits the concept of regarding the water layer as a filter if we accept a trap depth different from that indicated by the fathometer. Accepting 42 cps and 54 cps as resonant frequencies of the water-layer filter. The high frequency fathometer sees the top of this thin layer as the first dominant reflector.FLG. The sharply peaked response. This difference has been found generally to be quite common in the Persian Gulf and has been attributed to the presence of a thin. and amplitude-versus-time measurements taken from that recording are shown. the complete dominance of the harmonics at 42 and 54 cps cannot be explained at all on the basis of instrumental filters and can only be partially explained on the basis of seismometer depth.

WATER REVERBERATIONS 251 m j_ c 3AllWl3tl 3anllldWv .

dip-versus-time should be made up of segments showing local change as a function of time controlled by water-bottom structure. with transfer function (18) If no non-linear processes are involved in recording the signal. a study of these factors has not led to a detinitive conclusion based on structural evidence. REMOVAL OF THE WATER REVERXERATIOX EFFECT Referring to Figure 15. Structural Evidence Purely water-confined reverberation energy should show structure corresponding approximately to an exaggeration of trap-bottom structure. the water-reverberation effect can be regarded as a linear filtering effect rather than noise. the desired primary reflection data may be recovered in its original form. it may be seen that Figure 14 cannot be explained on the basis of water-confined energy. H(w). on the other hand. Structural behavior may be examined in the Persian Gulf record section (Figure 10) in which the fathometer and trap depth data are shown. should be biased by water-bottom structure but should also contain subsurface structure. On a particular profile. By comparison with Figures T-9. by a sharply peaked frequency spectrum. but is reasonably consistent with the concept of dominant subsurface excited reverberations. BACKUS mately removed is also shown. and by an abnormally slow energy decay. is defined by . However. The desired primary reflection data passes through two sections of the water-layer filter. The frequency response of the required inverse filter. by passing the recorded data through the inverse of the filter in equation (18). Experimental data confirms the prediction that the dominant energy is connected with subsurface reflected energy and is consistent with the concept of regarding the water-layer effect approximately as a linear filtering effect. but it should be displaced in absolute value from the dip predicted from water-bottom structure. The existence of the water reverberation problem is characterized by an apparent singing or dominant repetition interval on the records. the extent of the exaggeration increasing with time On a particular profile.252 MILO M. apparent dip should increase regularly with time Reverberation energy excited by subsurface reflections. by normal moveout intermediate between that expected for the true section velocity and that expected for water velocity.

or we design a multiple-seismometer array with a pass band where F(k)/N(k) is large. x). f(t. Block diagraln contrasting the water reverberation and the seismic noise pblems. . we record a desired seismic signal. We then use a filter with a pass band limited to the region where F(w)/N(w) is large. NOISE . to which is added noise. (19) The difference between this filtering concept and the usual seismic filtering concept requires emphasis. The characteristics off and N are examined in terms of frequency and wave-length. x). and use a narrow band-pass filter DESIRED signal RECORDED SIGNAL WATER AN INVERSE REVERBERATIONSFILTERING PROBLEM DESIRED SIGNAL SE. In general.WATER REVERBERATIONS 253 or H(cd) = (1 + Re--j@Jrw)Z.ISMlC NOISE RECORDED SIGNAL f(t) N(t) f(t) + N(t) time F(w) N(w) F(w) + NW frequency F(k) N(k) F(k) + N(k) *aye length SEISMIC FIG. We filter out those frequencies or wave lengths where the signal-to-noise ratio is low and accept the resulting degradation in the signal.A SELECTIVE FILTERING PROBLEM 15. An equivalent approach to singing records would be to regard the water reverberations as noise. N(t.

in addition to the operational difficulties.254 MILO M. The same effect could be achieved in the case of an acoustically soft bottom by the use of pressure seismometers at the trap bottom. and by 33 db at (t/7) = 25. To obtain the impulse response of the required inverse filter. (j(n + j k)(j-K1) k 1) k) (PC j + which represents also the increase in the ratio of primary reflection amplitude to the amplitude of energy connected with section multiples. j. Section-multiple reflections are not removed by this inverse water-layer filtering. Thus dragging the seises on the physical bottom does not provide the desired result. The phase response of the filter is particularly interesting. BACKUS fitted between two resonant peaks of the water-layer filter. we transform (19) to the time domain. Second. K term in equation (14) is a reduction by the ratio. with velocity seises located at the bottom. The compounding effect of the water layer on section multiples is reduced cousiderably. while valid initial arrivals from primary reflections are not attenuated. in the case of an acoustically hard bottom.5. or to use an arbitrary comb-notching filter to eliminate the reverberation frequencies. on the other hand. nor are the reverberations from section multiples completely eliminated. First. particularly in hard bottom areas. and it is necessary to determine the effective trap depth and the water-bottom coefficient for each profile. the primary reflection events should be recovered with the wave form which would have been obtained if the water layer had been removed. and would . (20) The frequency response of the required filter is shoivn in Figure 16 for a water depth of about 200 ft and for a bottom coefficient of 1. obtaining h(t) = 6(t) + 2R6(t 7) + R%(t - 2~). However. the reverberating energy from section multiples is considerably attenuated. The effect of the inverse filter in equation (19j on the n. By using the inverse filter. the amplitude of the reverberations due to the first section multiple would be attenuated by 22 db at (t!r) = 18. In applying inverse filtering to a set of records it is necessary to determine whether the dominant reverberation problem is due to an acoustically hard or soft bottom. the filtering effect is of the form P(W) = (1 + e-+~~) (21) which constitutes a notching filter with notches at the water-reverberation resonant frequencies. The seismometer-depth filtering effect is of a similar form to the required inverse filter. There are serious drawbacks to this approach. the significant lower trap boundary is often deeper than the physical bottom. the use of seismometer depth to attenuate the water reverberations is a noise-filtering approach. For example.0 and 0. in Figure 9. Thus if one recorded. In the case of the water-reverberation problem. this sort of approach would often result in excessive degradation of the desired signal.

Frequency response of the two-section inverse filter. particularly in deep water. the essential deviations of the point-source problem from the plane-wave problem are the following: (1) time differences due to normal moveout. 16. (2) amplitude variations due to spherical divergence. often. Due to normal moveout. on the outer traces during the early part of the record.WATER REVERBERATIONS 25. and in the behavior of the water confined energy. The interval should then increase with time tending to the interval observed on the center traces. On the early part of the record. normal moveout effects may be removed from the outer traces by a number of available dynamic correction devices. be expected to produce excessive degradation of the desired signal. this analysis should nearly apply directly.5 FIG. Discussion of Apfromima/iom The examination of the problem has been confined to the plane-wave case. However. since the reflected events at that time behave essentially as plane waves. On the later portion of the record. the interval between successive water reverberations should be less than that on the center traces. the point-source record may be changed as far as time relationships are concerned . If the normal moveout is removed in a continuous manner. (3) variations in the effective reflection coefficient due to the spherical wave front.

No dynamic corrections were applied for playback. These are 75-21 cps playbacks of a wide band recording. For example. except for some interference effects. A number of additional deviations of the actual case from the theoretical cases discussed are readily apparent. For wave lengths large relative to the distance between the source and the ocean bottom. Severe dip or structure in the trap bottom combined with a very high bottom-reflection coefficient results in considerable complications and the problem is not amenable to inverse filtering techniques. illustrating the approximate application of the inverse filtering technique.5 miles. Also the seismic amplitude suffers non-geometrical attenuation in the subsurface. but they do not alter the basic conclusions which have been drawn. using only a single section of the inverse water-layer filter. the a_mplitude decays as llr. This factor could be approximately compensated for in data processing. Because of this factor.5 profiles providing continuous subsurface coverage of about 3. one of the sections of the water-layer “filter” through which primary reflections pass deviates from the plane-wave case at low frequencies. Figures 19 and 20 are variable density record sections of a suite of records from the Persian Gulf. which constitutes a non-linear process. 49)) the amplitude difference between the plane wave and spherical wave for the first reflection from the bottom would be about 12 percent at 20 cps for a 200-ft water depth. The data were recorded with conventional automatic gain control. this indicates that the dominant reverberation problem was due to an acoustically soft bottom. In Figure 18. The filtering error thus introduced would be greatest at low frequencies and in shallow water. BACKUS to the approximate equivalent of the plane-wave case. Note that the dominant frequencies on the unprocessed record are 30 cps and 58 cps. using a case discussed by Pekeris (1948. where r is the length of the travel path. an example from Lake Maracaibo is provided.256 MZLO M. The problem has been examined for flat. and R was set somewhat arbitrarily to one. . the ocean bottom has an effective reflection coefficient different from that of the plane-wave case and varying with frequency. The suite consists of 1. These factors have a very significant effect on the results in Figures 7-9. p. water depth is about 200 ft. Examples An example of the approximate application of this inverse filtering technique to a textbook-type record is shown in Figure 17. Due to spherica! divergence. This record is from the Persian Gulf. In Figures 7-9 these factors would increase the importance of terms with small j relative to those with large j. whereas it suffers practically no non-geometric attenuation in the water. parallel boundaries. Slight dip or structure in the ocean bottom (which is greatly magnified on the reverberating record) reduces slightly the effect of the inverse filtering technique.

.

Profiles l-7 represent severe water reverberation records while profiles 8-15 constitute a less obvious example of the problem. A 21-75cps pass band was used in playback. A record section from the Persian Gulf. . and NM0 corrections were applied to compensate for observed normal moveout. 19. In the upper chart the solid line represents calculated water trap depth based on the apparent repetition interval and frequency content of the records.FIG.

.WATER REVERBERATIOXS 259 FIG. This record section is identical to Figure 19 except that inverse filtering has also been approximately applied. Any valid events should show reverse normal-moveout. 20.

The amount of signal attenuation in inverse filtering may be as high as 30 db in extreme cases. Discussion of Examples An examination of Figures 17-20 shows that approximate inverse filtering has removed the dominant singing effect or periodicity on the records and has brought out some apparent reflection events which were masked by the ringing on the unprocessed records. using a 15120-cps pass band and conventional automatic gain control. The application of inverse filtering constitutes a practical production technique which. BACKUS The data were recorded on magneDISCs from linear arrays of flat-response piezoelectric pressure transducers at a depth of 2. Figure 19 is a 7. and this is due in part to the fact that only an approximate application of the inverse filtering principal has been made. approximately results in the elimination of the dominant apparent ringing on marine records. The processed section (Figure 20) had the same dynamic corrections applied. The non-linear AGC must be eliminated or optimally minimized. in the “dead” areas on the processed record in Figure 17. The quality of the reflections on the processed data is poor. Some of the events on the processed records are probably initial primary reflection arrivals. It means that the processed data at a given time represents deeper subsurface penetration. Insufficient velocity control is available to establish clearly which events are primary reflections. The effect of the water layer may be approximately treated as a linear filtering effect and thus may be removed or attenuated by applying the principle of inverse filtering during data processing. the dynamic corrections applied were larger than those for expected section velocity. These uncovered events in general have less normal moveout than the dominant energy appearing at the same record time on the unprocessed records. Thus this data-processing technique truly requires the full dynamic range available on today’ magnetic recorders. and others are initial section-multiple arrivals. Singing records in untreated form thus contain some structural information about the subsurface. These comparisons illustrate what can be done in the data processing of conventionally recorded marine seismic data. That is. for example. For the optimum application of this technique special high fidelity recording is necessary.521-cps playback corrected for observed normal moveout.5 ft. This is particularly apparent in the reverse normal moveout of the events in the processed Persian Gulf record section. the recovery of primary reflection events with the wave form which they . hence valid reflection events should show reverse normal moveout. s Experimental and theoretical evidence indicates that on the majority of singing records the dominant energy represents water reverberations excited by reflections from the subsurface. under ideal conditions. The inverse filtering technique was only approximately applied in the same sense as indicated for Figure 17.260 MILO M.

1948. C. and a substantial increase in the ratio of valid primary reflection events to section multiple energy. v. 30. W. Jones. 394-423. p. O. . 142-145. K.. Maurice. X seismic wave guide phenomenon: Geophysics. 4. Stanford Research Institute. rlcoustic characteristics of a lake bottom: Acoustical Society ‘merica Jour. L. REFERENCES Bortfeld. \ v. 1958. 69-98. Recent underwater surveys using low frequency sound to locate shallow bedrock: Geol. J. p. Sot. 1948.. 1950. L. 16.. ACKiXOWLEDGMEiXTS The author thanks Willis S.. 69. E. p.58. T. Shelton who did much of the computational and data-processing work involved and offered many valuable comments on the problem. Cole. Prosp.WATER REVERBERATIONS 261 would have had if the water-rock interface had been removed. Geophysical studies of the Antarctic: Palo Alto. R.. Ewing. Princeton University Press. H... Multiple Reflexionen in Nordwestdeutschland: Geophys. Theory of propagation of explosive sound in shallow water: Geol. 32&336. R. 19. 1956. and Stulken. E. Pekeris. P. Poulter.. v. Underwater explosions: Princeton.. Burg. 594-612. Press. C. v.... 1956. Sarrafian. Sot. v. 21. Marine seismic model: Geophysics. Smith. p. 1951. et al. p. 27. G. J. Frank. America Bull. The author thanks Geophysical Service Incorporated for the permission to publish this paper. America Mem..

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