Azimuthal analysis of hybrid gathers
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The cross-spread formed by intersecting source and receiver lines, or “hybrid gather” consisting of all common mid-points (CMPs) in a reflection patch defined by the acquisition geometry, has been revived in recent years as a possible solution to the increasing need for ever-improving imaging of 3-D seismic reflection data. These hybrid gathers, however, are currently not widely used in processing. Development of processing procedures for hybrid gathers is needed to further the efficiency of their application. The use of hybrid gathers in processing is justified by their performance as an areal array in attenuating both random and coherent noise from all azimuthal directions. Hybrid gathers also allow for azimuthal filtering to correct for wave propagation effects. Through an azimuthal analysis in an azimuthally anisotropic medium, the effects of structural dip on reflection time can be isolated and separated from pre-stack propagation effects of the media, particularly distortions due to azimuthal anisotropy. A binning strategy is determined for hybrid gathers which best allows for azimuthal anisotropy to be observed and distinguished from structural dip. This allows for improved velocity estimation for imaging and separate analysis of azimuthal variations in propagation properties of subsurface media at an early stage in the processing sequence. The degree and orientation of the anisotropy can then be estimated using a semblance method.