Temporal and spatial variations in three-dimensional seismic oceanography

Zou, Zheguang; Bakhtiari Rad, Parsa; Macelloni, Leonardo; Zhang, Likun

Seismic oceanography is a new cross-discipline between geophysics and oceanography that uses seismic reflection data to image and study the oceanic water column. Previous work on seismic oceanography was largely limited to two-dimensional (2D) seismic data and methods. Here we explore and quantify temporal and spatial variations in three-dimensional (3D) seismic oceanography to address whether 3D seismic imaging is meaningful in all directions and how one can take advantage of the variations. From a 3D multichannel seismic survey acquired for oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico over a 6-month period, a 3D oceanic seismic volume was derived. The 3D seismic images exhibit both temporal and spatial variations of the ocean, and theoretical and data analyses were used to quantify their contribution. Our results suggest that temporal variation is more prominent in the crossline direction than in the inline direction, causing discontinuities in crossline images. However, a series of 3D inline images can be seen as snapshots of the water column at different times, capturing temporal variation of thermohaline structures induced by ocean dynamics. Our findings suggest the potential uses of marine 3D seismic data in studying time-evolving mesoscale ocean dynamics.

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Zou, Zheguang / Bakhtiari Rad, Parsa / Macelloni, Leonardo / et al: Temporal and spatial variations in three-dimensional seismic oceanography. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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