Adverse Effects of an Edge Diffractor in Seismic Reflection Interferometry


To understand steeply dipping events in seismic reflection interferometry (SRI), we derived an expression that describes the difference in travel time (Δτ) from a diffractor to two receivers in two dimensions. For a fixed receiver interval, the expression shows that Δτ is zero when the diffractor is at the midpoint of the paired receivers, increases with an apparent velocity of half the medium velocity as the diffractor moves toward either receiver, and remains constant for a diffractor located on the same side of both receivers. The horizontal portion of Δτ is slightly skewed during the normal moveout correction, yielding a maximum peak of the horizontally stacked trace at a slightly smaller time than Δτ. Accordingly, the diffracted waves have an apparent velocity slightly higher than half of the medium velocity in a horizontally stacked image. This conformed to virtual data for an elastic two-layer model with a vertical boundary. We then generalized the expression to three dimensions, in which listric travel time curves were predicted for an oblique edge diffractor, a vertex diffractor offline from the receiver pair, or a buried diffractor. Based on both two- and three-dimensional analyses of the edge diffractor, we tentatively interpreted the linear and listric dipping events observed in the passive SRI image across the Korean Peninsula to have been caused by diffractors near the intersection of the profile and geologic boundaries.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13


  1. Bakulin, A., & Calvert, R. (2004). The virtual source: New method for imaging and 4D below complex overburden. In 74th Ann. Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys., Expanded Abstracts (pp. 2477–2480).

  2. Bharadwaj, P., Schuster, G., Mallinson, I., & Dai, W. (2012). Theory of supervirtual refraction interferometry. Geophysical Journal International,188, 263–273.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Bolshakov, O. A., Patterson, D. G., & Lan, C. (2011). Deep fracture imaging around the wellbore using dipole acoustic logging. In SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Expanded Abstracts, SPE 146769.

  4. Campillo, M., & Paul, A. (2003). Long-range correlations in the diffuse seismic coda. Science,299, 547–549.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Červený, V. (2001). Seismic ray theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Cho, K. H., Herrmann, R. B., Ammon, C. J., & Lee, K. (2007). Imaging the upper crust of the Korean peninsula by surface-wave tomography. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America,97(1B), 198–207.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Claerbout, J. (1968). Synthesis of a layered medium from its acoustic transmission response. Geophysics,33, 264–269.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Clayton, R. W. (2018). Imaging the subsurface with ambient noise autocorrelations. In 88th Ann. Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys., Expanded Abstracts (pp. 4852–4856).

  9. Draganov, D., Campman, X., Thorbecke, J., Verdel, A., & Wapenaar, K. (2009). Reflection images from ambient seismic noise. Geophysics,74, A63–A67.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Draganov, D., Wapenaar, K., & Thorbecke, J. (2004). Passive seismic imaging in the presence of white noise sources. The Leading Edge,23, 889–892.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Dziewonski, A. M., & Anderson, D. L. (1981). Preliminary reference Earth model. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors,25(4), 297–356.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Grechka, V., & Zhao, Y. (2012). Microseismic interferometry. The Leading Edge,31, 1405–1532.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Hron, F., & Chan, G. H. (1995). Tutorial on the numerical modelling of edge diffracted waves by the ray method. Studia Geophysics et Geodetica,39, 103–137.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Kang, T. S., & Shin, J. S. (2006). Surface-wave tomography from ambient seismic noise of accelerograph networks in southern Korea. Geophysical Research Letters,33, L17303-1–L17303-5.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Kennett, B. L. N., & Engdahl, E. R. (1991). Travel times for global earthquake location and phase association. Geophysical Journal International,105, 429–465.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Kim, K. Y., Lee, J. M., Moon, W., Baag, C.-E., Jung, H., & Hong, M. H. (2006). Crustal structure of the southern Korean Peninsula from seismic waves generated by large explosions in 2002 and 2004. Pure and Applied Geophysics,164, 97–113.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Kim, K. Y., Park, I. S., & Byun, J. M. (2018). Characteristics of virtual reflection image in seismic interferometry using synthetic seismic data. Geophysics and Geophysical Exploration,21, 94–102.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Klem-Musatov, K., Aizenberg, A. M., Pajchel, J., & Helle, H. B. (2008). Edge and Tip Diffractions—Theory and Applications in Seismic Prospecting. Geophysical Monograph Series n. 14. Tulsa: Society of Exploration Geophysicists.

  19. Lin, F. C., Ritzwoller, M. H., & Snieder, R. (2009). Eikonal tomography: Surface wave tomography by phase front tracking across a regional broadband seismic array. Geophysical Journal International,177, 1091–1110.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Luke, B., & Calderón-Macías, C. (2008). Scattering of surface waves due to shallow heterogeneities. In 78th Ann. Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys., Expanded Abstracts (pp. 1283–1287).

  21. Mikesell, D., Wijk, K. V., Calvert, A., & Haney, M. (2009). The virtual refraction: Useful spurious energy in seismic interferometry. Geophysics,74, A13–A17.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Ruigrok, E., Campman, X., & Wapenaar, K. (2011). Extraction of P-wave reflection from microseisms. Comptes Rendus Geoscience,343, 512–525.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Schuster, G. T. (2001). Theory of daylight/interferometric imaging: Tutorial: 63rd Conference and Technical Exhibition. European Assoc. Geoscientists and Engineers, Extended Abstracts, A32.

  24. Schuster, G. T. (2009). Seismic interferometry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Snieder, R. (2004). Extracting the Green’s function from the correlation of coda waves: A derivation based on stationary phase. Physical Review E,69, 046610–1–046610-8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Song, Y. S., Kim, K. Y., Park, I. S., Byun, J. M., & Lee, J. W. (2018). Preliminary image of upper mantle structure beneath the Korean Peninsula by cross-correlation of seismic noise data. Geophysical Research Abstracts, EGU2018-6034.

  27. Sun, W., & Kennet, B. (2017). Mid-lithosphere discontinuities beneath the western and central North China Craton. Geophysical Research Letters,44, 1302–1310.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Wapenaar, K., Draganov, D., Snieder, R., Campman, X., & Verdel, A. (2010). Tutorial on seismic interferometry: Part 1—Basin principles and applications. Geophysics,75, 75A195–75A209.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Yilmaz, Ö. (2001). Seismic Data Analysis (I): Processing, inversion, and interpretation of seismic data. Tulsa: Society of Exploration Geophysicists.

    Google Scholar 

Download references


This work was supported by the Human Resources Development of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) Grant funded by the Korea government Ministry of Knowledge Economy (No. 20194010201920), the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program under Grant KRIMPA 2015-7010, and the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (No. 2019R1A6A1A03033167). One of the authors, Youngseok Song, was supported by an NRF (National Research Foundation of Korea) Grant funded by the government of Korea (NRF-2017H1A2A1044244-Global Ph. D. Fellowship Program). We thank Dr. Soon Jee Seol for her helpful suggestions during the execution of this work.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ki Young Kim.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Song, Y., Kim, K.Y., Byun, J. et al. Adverse Effects of an Edge Diffractor in Seismic Reflection Interferometry. Pure Appl. Geophys. (2020).

Download citation


  • Dipping event
  • Seismic reflection interferometry
  • Diffractor
  • Apparent velocity
  • Model