University of Texas at Austin

Shear Wave Seismic Study: Comparing 9C3D SV and SH Images with 3C3D C-Wave Images

Completed Study, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and Vecta Exploration


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In a simple homogeneous Earth, three shear-wave (S-wave) images can be made from 9C3D seismic data. One image can be made from the SV mode, a second image can be made from the SH mode, and a third called the C-wave can be made from the "converted" SV mode created by P-to-SV mode conversion at subsurface interfaces. Only one S-wave image can be created from 3C3D data, that being a C-wave image. Independents who are interested in S-wave seismic technology need to be informed about the differences, similarities, advantages, and disadvantages of these three S-wave imaging options. The objective of this study is to create all three S-wave data volumes (SV, SH, C) across the same prospect(s) and to document the relative merits of each S-wave seismic mode. This research does not require field work. The 9C3D and 3C3D seismic data needed for the investigation already reside at the Exploration Geophysics Laboratory (EGL), a research unit of The University of Texas at Austin. EGL will be subcontracted by Vecta Technology (Vecta) to do critical parts of the data processing and analysis. The objective is to use common-midpoint (CMP) algorithms to create SV and SH images from 9C3D data and then use common-conversion-point (CCP) algorithms to produce C-wave images from 3C3D data. Comparison of these images will be done to determine advantages and disadvantages of each S-wave imaging technique. Vecta will drill a new well inside the study area and acquire a dipole sonic log and other modern logs in this well as their cost-sharing obligation to DOE.

For more information, please contact Bob Hardage.
Telephone 512-471-0300; e-mail

February 2003