Reversing entropy: deblending and imaging physical modeling data

David C. Henley, Joe Wong

Physical modeling has become one of the key activities pursued by students and staff at CREWES. It is an important technology for verifying the theory of elastic wave propagation, as well as for developing and testing acquisition and processing techniques which are directly applicable to full scale field seismic operations. Many of the problems which afflict full-scale seismic exploration are present in the physical modeling environment as well. One of these, the acquisition time required by a massive 3D seismic survey, has found a partial solution in the use of multiple simultaneous sources during the acquisition. Here, we analyze a small portion of a large 3D data set acquired in the CREWES physical modeling facility using 8 simultaneous sources (to decrease acquisition time by a factor of 8). We show that with suitably selected acquisition geometry, the simultaneously acquired source 'supergathers' can be untangled or 'deblended' and subsequently imaged with no significant crosstalk from the wavefields of the simultaneous sources. While this achievement in itself is not unique, we demonstrate a new implementation based on previous wavefield separation work. We document here our increasingly sophisticated ability to acquire and process complex physical model data in a way that can emulate actual field seismic surveys.