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Surface seismic surveys face numerous challenges when applied in shallow waters and marshes of transition zone areas. These challenges include reduced signal-to-noise ratio resulting from poor coupling of the receivers and strong ambient noise due to wind, surf and currents. Non-uniformity of the sedimentary layers below the water bottom can also induce signal distortions due to static shifts. Unconsolidated shallow sediments can cause attenuation of the seismic signal. Additionally, the signal can be contaminated with ghosts and water layer reverberations.
To overcome these challenges, WesternGeco developed and patented a method of acquiring seismic data from transition zones based on acquisition with vertical hydrophone arrays. This method virtually eliminates ghosting during data processing by providing the possibility of separating the upgoing seismic wavefield, which typically contains the useful seismic data, from the downgoing seismic wavefield that is reflected from the water surface, which results in ghosts and noise from water layer reverberations.
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