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Within the last seven years the geophysicist has teetered on being called a “doodle bug”, that is a person whose exploration techniques are scientifically questionable. This dubious opinion of the seismic state-of-art was a natural consequence of the rapid development in seismic interpretational techniques for delineation of stratigraphic traps. Most of these new interpretational techniques were based on amplitude studies.
Seismic amplitude, however, was not the only parameter to be reinvestigated for detecting stratigraphic traps and predicting their shape and petrophysical properties. Efforts to improve the prediction accuracy (seismic resolution) also involve an interplay of the modern acquisition and processing techniques. As an example, the vertical and horizontal extent of small stratigraphic traps cannot be estimated independently from seismic data but must be investigated together using 3-D seismic data. This data would be easier to interpret if it were wavelet processed and if the data are not migrated a 3-D amplitude study must be conducted.
In an effort to quantify the state-of-art for seismic resolution, several rules of thumb have been developed which relate the seismic parameters (phase, amplitude, frequency content, reflection timing and velocity) to the principal stratigraphic parameters (porosity, lithology and body shape). These rules of thumb are applied to both real and model data.
Acknowledgments and Associated Footnotes
1 University of Houston, Geology Department, Houston, Texas 77004
Copyright © 2009 by the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists