What is a seismic reflector like?

Abstract : The spatial region in the vicinity of an interface which actually affects the interface response and, hence, the reflected wave field is of particular interest for the characterization of reflectors from a seismic viewpoint. This region is represented by a volume of integration of the medium properties above and below the interface whose maximum lateral extent corresponds to the lateral extent of the Interface Fresnel zone, and whose maximum vertical extent is equal to a thickness we evaluate approximately for subcritical incidence angles for a plane interface, and also for curved interfaces of anticline and syncline type. The maximum vertical extent may be larger than the seismic wavelengths for subcritical incidence angles close to the critical angle and for a strong impedance contrast at the interface. Although the part of the reflector volume laying below the interface and aff ecting the traveltime measurements is actually smaller than described by previous studies, the whole part of the reflector volume which affects the amplitude of the reflected wavefi eld is larger than described by previous estimates which considered only the spatial region below the interface. For a syncline (respectively, an anticline) it is larger (respectively, smaller) than described for a plane interface. In addition to providing more physical insights into the wave reflection process, this study may have signifi cant implications on seismic interpretation using AVA methodologies.
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Nathalie Favretto-Cristini, Paul Cristini, Eric De Bazelaire. What is a seismic reflector like?. Geophysics, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, 2009, 74 (1), pp.T13-T23. 〈10.1190/1.3033216〉. 〈hal-00461558〉

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