Interpretation of Vibroseis reflections from within the Catoctin Formation of central Virginia

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Large amplitude seismic reflections from within the Catoctin Formation of central Virginia are interpreted to originate from acoustically thin beds of interlayered metabasalts and metasediments. Large acoustic impedance contrasts exist between epidotised layers ( epidosites and volcanic breccia) and non-epidotised layers (greenstones and phyllites) within the Catoctin Formation. Acoustic impedance contrasts also exist between greenstones (metabasalts) and phyllites (metasediments). Constructive interference of small amplitude reflections from thin beds result in large amplitude, reverberating reflections.

Thin bed reflections that approximate the first derivative of the source wavelet constructively interfere to give even larger amplitude reflections than those originating by conventional tuning. Computer modeling based on two geologic sections of thin beds of epidosites interlayered with greenstones and of greenstones interlayered with phyllites and epidosites indicates that large amplitude reflections result from constructive interference of thin bed reflections.