Aaron Seriff

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Aaron Seriff
Aaron J. Seriff headshot.png
Membership Honorary Member


Biography Citation for SEG Honorary Membership 1984

Contributed by James H. Robinson

Honorary membership in the SEG is conferred upon a person who has made a distinguished contribution to exploration geophysics or to the advancement of the profession through service to the Society. In conferring Honorary Membership on Aaron J. Seriff, the Executive Committee and the Honors and Awards Committee stated that: "this honor is in recognition of his contributions to exploration seismology in a number of recognized significant papers. He has also been very active in Society affairs."

This honor is richly deserved. During his 29 years as a member of the Society, Aaron has served as Assistant Editor and Editor of Geophysics, has served on the Research, Student Section/Academic Liaison Committees, has served as Research Sessions Chairman at Annual Meetings, and has helped organize several Academic-Industry seminars. His SEG and related professional society publications include papers and presentations on Coupled Modes in Seismometer Arrays, VIBROSEIS® Distortion, Synthetic Seismograms with Multiples and Transmission Effects, Low Frequency Noise in Deep Boreholes, P-wave and S-wave Seismic Velocity Anisotropy, Fossil Geopressures, and Two-Dimensional Fourier Analysis.

Those of us who have worked closely with Aaron over the years know that the work and service cited above represents only a small part of Aaron's contribution to exploration geophysics. His most significant work has been dominated by his technical contributions to Shell Oil Company where he has worked for the past 32 years. He has conducted pioneering research in the areas of seismic sources and receivers, seismic noise, seismic signal studies including the Theory and Applications of Bright Spot Technology, Seismic Absorption, Shear Wave Seismology, P-wave and S-wave Velocities in Sedimentary Rocks, Time Series Analysis and Filtering, and Two-Dimensional Seismic Filtering in X-T and K-F Domains. Aaron has been actively involved in the early transfer of the technology from the R&D laboratory to the operating divisions of Shell Oil Company.

Aaron has brought the critical eye of the experimental physicist to the profession of exploration geophysics. His academic training include B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Texas and a Ph.D. degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1951. Since then he has worked in Shell's R&D laboratory as Research Physicist, Group Leader, Geophysical Section Leader, Senior Staff Geophysicist, Exchange Scientist and, presently, as Senior Research Associate. He also holds a concurrent position as Adjunct Professor of Geology at Rice University where he is teaching and developing a program in exploration seismology.

The words above describe Aaron Seriff as an accomplished geophysical scientist. As a teacher and educator, he has worked with many of Shell's research and operational geophysicists. He always brings his impressive breadth and depth of geophysical knowledge to problems he discusses. His ability to understand and explain complex geophysical phenomena, easily, from first principles, is legendary within the Shell community, and is envied by those of us who are less gifted. His intensity and enthusiasm when discussing and explaining geophysics is infectious. Aaron is a tough taskmaster who sets high standards for himself as well as for students and colleagues. These qualities are instrumental in his ability to transfer basic R&D projects from the laboratory to the world of the operating exploration geophysicist.

It is a great honor for me to write this citation for Aaron J. Seriff. My understanding of exploration geophysics, as well as the understanding of many other fellow geophysicists, has been enhanced by our association with Dr. Seriff during our careers. He richly deserves the award of Honorary Membership in the Society.