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Processing: All other events tend to obscure and distort primary reflections, and they must be removed or reduced

by processing the seismic records, the main purpose of processing is to produce a set of seismic traces , called a section , whose display is a representation of structure of the reflecting interfaces on a cross-section or slice through the earth's crust.

Besides giving this pictorial representation of the geological structures, seismic data can also be processed to give other information about the rocks, principally p-wave velocity through them, from which various other rock characteristics can be inferred.

The amplitude (A) is the displacement of the wave from the zero axis.

A wavelength

The wavelength is the length of one complete oscillation or cycle of the wave.
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Basic Definitions - Phase

The phase of a wave defines the position of its cycle with regard to a fixed point, usually zero time.
Three identical waves with different phase

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Basic Definitions - Frequency

Frequency is the number of cycles per second. Wavelets are made up of many different frequency sinusoids (sine wave like waveforms)


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CMP = Common Mid Point
the midpoint is the position half way between the source and receiver. Traces having a common midpoint are often gathered together, and are the basis of stacking and fold

CDP = Common Depth Point

traces having a common depth point are reflected from the same subsurface position. This term is often loosely used where CMP should be used.
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groups of traces gathered together on the basis of a common header, hence:
common shot gathers common receiver gathers common midpoint gathers common offset gathers near trace gathers
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Noise : Anything other than desired signal. Noise includes disturbances in seismic data caused by any unwanted seismic energy, such as shot generation ground roll, surface waves, multiples, effects of weather and human activity, or random occurrences in the Earth.


desirable to undesirable (or total) energy. The signal-to-noise ratio can be expressed mathematically as S/N or S/(S+N), although S/N is more commonly used. The signal-to-noise ratio is difficult to quantify accurately because it is difficult to completely separate signal from noise. It also depends on how noise is defined.

ratio: The ratio of


: An informal term used to denote a surface in or of rock, or a distinctive layer of rock that might be represented by a reflection in seismic data. The term is often used incorrectly to describe a zone from which hydrocarbons are produced.


traveltime : The elapsed time for a seismic wave to travel from its source to a given reflector and return to a receiver at the Earth's surface. Minimum two-way traveltime is that of a normal-incidence wave with zero offset.

Anisotropy Introduction to anisotropy Anisotropy is a feature common to most rock layers and is defined as the variation of material properties with direction. Materials are anisotropic if one or more of their physical properties vary depending on direction. There are however differences in the degree and type of anisotropy related to the scale of observation.

On a small scale intrinsic anisotropy is exhibited by crystals. On a larger scale, that of seismic wavelengths, the term anisotropy is used to denote variation of seismic velocity depending on the direction in which it is measured.

Note: this is not the same as the variation of velocity according to location (this is inhomogeneity). By and large seismic imaging techniques ignore this velocity anisotropy and assume an isotropic earth.

Concerns the minimum thickness of a bed, so that reflections from the beds top and base can be distinguished that is, so that one can distinguish between a bed of finite thickness from a single reflecting interface. Rayleigh resolution limit is wavelength of the dominant frequency (tuning thickness).

What do we mean by Resolution?

Bandwidth? Detectability? Discrimination? Measurability? Model parameters?


Resolution is the ability to map lateral changes in reservoir edges and internal structures.

Land Processing
Land recording spreads tend to be split shot, and recording has to avoid many obstacles so that lines are not straight. There are variations in elevation, requiring data to be corrected to a datum. There is a significant unconsolidated layer before the subsurface strata are reached. Statics (to account for the unconsolidated layer) tend to be the main problem


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Marine Processing
Lines tend to be approximately straight, and are recorded with a basically inline spread, recorded without vertical variation. The medium above the solid subsurface strata is of known velocity (water) with a thin, usually insignificant layer of mud or sand. The main processing problem is water generated multiples
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Statics are time shifts applied to the traces to account for:
variations in elevation variations in the velocity of the near surface layer

They are usually applied:

as field statics (from supplied uphole times) from derivation from first breaks from derivation of residual statics
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3D Processing
Differs from 2D processing in: application of geometry information volume of data to process

some processes may be derived and applied in an aerial manner as opposed to linearly
display possibilities
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Basic Processing Sequence

Common extra processes
Source designature, Input field data true amplitude corrections, noise Preprocessing attenuation, trace Multiple Attenuation Velocity Analysis summation, DMO and deconvolution additional NMO and Stack velocity analysis Moves partial Deconvolution pre-stack Post stack processing , noise migration attenuation Migration Zero phasing Spectral whitening

Display processing

Filter and scaling

Output final displays and tapes

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Stacking Dip Move-Out Migration Filtering Convolution Deconvolution

Stacking as one of the three crucial techniques (deconvolution, stacking, and migration) plays an important role in improving signal-tonoise ratio (S/N) in seismic data processing.

The number of traces in the CDP gather is called the fold.
Stacking n traces enhances the S/N ratio by (n)1/2 .

DMO or Dip Moveout is applied in order to compensate for traces recorded with the same common midpoint representing different subsurface points where events dip This has the effect of causing events to stack with a faster velocity than that of the strata DMO is achieved by migration of the trace to its zero offset position

Ray traces for different offsets for a CMP gather before DMO

Position at which event appears on section Sources Receivers Nominal midpoint of all traces in CMP prior to DMO CMP position of traces at the event time after DMO


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Ray traces for different offsets for a CMP gather after DMO

CMP position of all traces in gather after DMO Position at which event appears on section Nominal midpoint position of traces at the event time before DMO


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The objective of migration is to correct the angles of dip from the apparent dips displayed on the seismic section to the true dips of the geological bedding planes, to remove diffraction hyperbolas and to map the true length of a reflector.

The Dipping Reflector
If is the angle of apparent dip and is the angle of true dip, then: sin = tan . One purpose of migration.

Dipping reflector





C-Sketch prominent diffraction