Seismic wave propagation - PetroWiki

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The full elastic seismic wavefield that propagates through an isotropic Earth consists of a P-wave component and two shear (SV and SH) wave components. Marine air guns and vertical onshore sources produce reflected wavefields that are dominated by P and SV modes. Much of the SV energy in these wavefields is created by P-to-SV-mode conversions when the downgoing P wavefield arrives at stratal interfaces at nonnormal angles of incidence (Figure 1). Horizontal-dipole sources can create strong SH modes in onshore programs. No effective seismic horizontal-dipole sources exist for marine applications.