Processing of pre‐critical wide‐angle seismic reflection data from the BABEL project

T. Dahl‐Jensen, G. Lindsey, A. Law, D. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In addition to using the now widely recognised technique of simultaneously acquiring deep reflection profiles at sea and long‐range refraction profiles using three‐component land stations, the BABEL seismic experiment also recorded P‐ and S‐wave energy from the large airgun array at four linear 38‐component land spreads. The pioneering nature of this work led, in hindsight, to several deficiences in design, but also pointed the way towards substantial advances in analysis and interpretation of integrated seismic observations. The multifold nature of the recordings at offsets providing pre‐critical reflections from Moho depths resulted in interleaved receiver gathers with trace spacings of 4–5 m, thus providing some of the most densely spaced deep‐seismic wide‐angle sections to date. With such a trace density, the signal‐to‐noise ratio was substantially increased by summation of adjacent traces, without degrading spatial resolution. Stacking the land array data using conventional common midpoint (CMP) gather techniques over source‐receiver offsets of 7–78 km doubled the depth range constrained by numerically precise stacking velocity analysis. Offsets > 10 km provide normal moveouts > 1 s, although the 1.5 km of differential moveout available here limited velocity discrimination and required additional constraints to define zero‐offset traveltimes. For one array, stacking velocity errors of ±200 m s−1 imposed a resulting error in zero‐offset time of up to ±400 ms without use of any marine data. With receiver response functions matched, stacked sections using data from geophone arrays exhibit similar features to stacks made using hydrophone arrays at 0–3 km offsets in the same area, but also significant differences. The differences in reflection amplitudes cannot be simply attributed to theoretical amplitude‐offset variations and probably represent variation in the reflectivity of the crustal rocks of the Baltic shield.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Baltic shield
  • land arrays
  • seismic reflection
  • seismic velocities

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources


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