U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 311
The archived trace data are in standard Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) SEG-Y format (Barry and others, 1975) and may be downloaded and processed with commercial or public domain software such as Seismic Unix (SU). Example SU processing scripts and USGS software for viewing the SEG-Y files (Zihlman, 1992) are also provided.
The Chirp system uses a signal of continuously varying frequency. The towfish is a sound source and receiver, which is typically towed 2 - 5 m above the seafloor. The acoustic energy is reflected at density boundaries (such as the seafloor or sediment layers beneath the seafloor), detected by a receiver, and recorded by a PC-based seismic acquisition system. This process is repeated at timed intervals (for example, 0.125 s) and recorded for specific intervals of time (for example, 50 ms). In this way, a two-dimensional vertical image of the shallow geologic structure beneath the ship track is produced.
The seismic source employed for Chirp data collection consisted of an EdgeTech SB-424 towfish running Triton Imaging SB Logger (FSSB) V. 1.6.421 acquisition software and towed about 17 m behind the GPS antenna. The frequency range was 4 - 24 kHz. Sample frequency of the data was 25 kHz, and record length was approximately 50 ms. Shot spacing was about 0.386 - 0.514 m.
For each recorded shot of the Chirp data, 3 channels of trace data are collected. Channel 2 is the "real," or in-phase component of the signal, channel 1 is the "imaginary," or quadrature component of the signal, and channel 0 is the "envelope," or product of channels 1 and 2. Only channel 0 was used to produce the profiles presented here. However, all channels are included in the SEG-Y data files.