A three-dimensional (3-D), second-order finite-difference method was used to create synthetic seismograms for wave propagation in heterogeneous media in order to investigate the scattering of elastic and acoustic energy due to topography on the seafloor. The method uses a fully staggered grid in Cartesian coordinates as developed by Virieux [Geophysics 51, 889-901 (1986)]. Numerical results were generated for two models: a linear fault scarp on the seafloor, and a flat seafloor containing a rectangular channel. Wave-front snapshots allow the scattering and focusing of different wave modes with direction to be visualized. Compressional and shear wave backscattering from the sides of the features can be seen together with the trapped compressional wave energy propagating inside the channel. The results illustrate the effects of out of the plane scattering due to simple seafloor topographic features.