Towards a polarity standard for multicomponent seafloor seismic data

R. James Brown

This paper deals with the question of a polarity standard for multicomponent seismic data. The primary goal is to provide a standard according to which the designations normal polarity and reverse(d) polarity may be used in association with the seismic sections from any or all of the four components normally acquired in a multicomponent seafloor survey. Since this includes a hydrophone component and three geophone components, land 3C and streamer seismic should then also be comprised as special cases.

Recommendations or guidelines are given on how to proceed, both in acquisition and preprocessing, in order to arrive at a given polarity for any particular data component. The basis of this standard is the SEG polarity standard, which was first enunciated as a field-recording standard for single-component seismic data. In effect, the present recommendations are for a field-recording and preprocessing standard, rather than a final-display polarity standard. A primary objective has been an internally consistent system of polarity specifications, encompassing all of the recorded components, in order to enable consistent horizon correlation among these datasets.