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Hardage, B. A., P. E. Murray, R. Remington, M. De Angelo, D. Sava, H. H. Roberts, W. Shedd, and J. Hunt Jr., 2009, Multicomponent seismic technology assessment of fluid-gas expulsion geology and gas-hydrate systems: Gulf of Mexico, in T. Collett, A. Johnson, C. Knapp, and R. Boswell, eds., Natural gas hydrates—Energy resource potential and associated geologic hazards: AAPG Memoir 89, p. 247–265.


Copyright copy2009 by The American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

Multicomponent Seismic Technology Assessment of Fluid-gas Expulsion Geology and Gas-hydrate Systems: Gulf of Mexico

B. A. Hardage,1 P. E. Murray,2 R. Remington,3 M. De Angelo,4 D. Sava,5 H. H. Roberts,6 W. Shedd,7 J. Hunt Jr.8

1Bureau of Economic Geology, Austin, Texas, U.S.A.
2Bureau of Economic Geology, Austin, Texas, U.S.A.
3Bureau of Economic Geology, Austin, Texas, U.S.A.
4Bureau of Economic Geology, Austin, Texas, U.S.A.
5Bureau of Economic Geology, Austin, Texas, U.S.A.
6Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.A.
7Minerals Management Service, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.
8Minerals Management Service, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.


WesternGeco provided the 4-C OBC seismic data used in this research. Research funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE/NETL contract DE-FC26-05NT42667) and by the Minerals Management Service (contract MMS 0105CT39388).


Four-component ocean-bottom-cable (4-C OBC) seismic data acquired in deep water across the Gulf of Mexico were used to study near-sea-floor geologic characteristics of fluid-gas expulsion systems. Although these 4-C OBC data were acquired to evaluate oil and gas prospects far below the sea floor, the data have great value for studying near-sea-floor geology. The research results summarized here stress the importance of the converted-shear-wave (P-SV) mode extracted from 4-C OBC data. In deep water, the P-SV mode creates an image of near-sea-floor strata that has a spatial resolution an order of magnitude better than the resolution of compressional wave (P-P) data regardless of whether the P-P data are acquired with OBC technology or with conventional towed-cable seismic technology. This increased resolution allows the P-SV mode to define seismic sequences, seismic facies, small-throw faults, and small-scale structures that cannot be detected with P-P seismic data.

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