Explosive source signature determination: Two unequal shots in the same hole

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Buried explosive charges generate seismic waves with unrivalled bandwidth. The source time function is not always repeatable and is difficult to measure, but is required for subsequent data processing including reverse time migration and full waveform inversion. I present a new method for estimating the explosive seismic source time function for every shot, using two unequal shots in the same shot hole. The measured data for each charge are deconvolved for the modelled monopole seismic source time function to recover estimated earth impulse responses or Green’s functions. The source model parameters are adjusted to maximize the likeness of the estimated Green’s functions from the two shots, applying physical constraints to obtain the prior probability density functions for each parameter. Ten parameters specify the two source models, but only five of these are independent and a grid search is used to find them. The method is tested on an experimental data set, obtained for a different purpose, consisting of a line of single geophones
and three in-line shot holes, each with two unequal charges, the larger one at twice the depth of the smaller. The method works well where the charge size ratio is at least 2: the estimated source time functions are recovered and the estimated Green’s functions are more similar than the seismograms before deconvolution. To apply the method in practice, the smaller charge should be deeper than the larger. If the small charge is small enough, the vertical separation between the charges can be reduced to less than 1 m. The Green’s functions for the two charges would then be almost identical for frequencies up to 250 Hz, and the differences in the measured data from the two charges would be caused principally by the differences in the two source time functions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalGeophysical Prospecting
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2022


  • acquisition, data processing, inversion, parameter estimation, seismics


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