GRE General Test: RC-205458 GRE Reading Comprehension

Because of its accuracy in outlining the Earth’s subsurface, the seismic-reflection method remains the most important tool in the search for petroleum reserves. In field practice, a subsurface is mapped by arranging a series of wave-train sources, such as small dynamite explosions, in a grid pattern. as each source is activated, it generates a wave train that moves downward at a speed determined uniquely by the rock’s elastic characteristics. As rock interfaces are crossed, the elastic characteristics encountered generally change abruptly, which causes part of the energy to be reflected back to the surface, where it is recorded by seismic instruments. The seismic records must be processed to correct for positional differences between the source and the receiver, for unrelated wave trains, and for multiple reflections from the rock interfaces. Then the data acquired at each of the specific source locations are combined to generate a physical profile of the subsurface, which can eventually be used to select targets for drilling.
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According to the passage, in the seismic-reflection method all of the following have a significant effect on the signal detected by the seismic instruments