Dan Kosloff

From SEG Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Dan Kosloff
Dan Kosloff headshot.png
PhD university California Institute of Technology

Dan Kosloff has been a pioneer of reverse-time migration and pseudo-spectral methods in waveequation migration. In 1983, there were three nearly simultaneous publications which introduced the very important concept of reverse-time migration. Kosloff was the co-author of one (with E. Baysal and J. Sherwood), “Reverse time migration”, published in Geophysics. Following this breakthrough research, Kosloff was one of the first geophysicists to implement wave-equation methods on supercomputers. Additionally, Dan Kosloff was among the first to implement elasticwave forward modeling, viscoelastic wave-equation modeling, and reflection tomography. Kosloff is being honored with the Reginald Fessenden Award because of his many high-impact papers and his collaborations with other researchers to bring seismic theory into production through computational methods.

Biography Citation for the Reginald Fessenden Award 2013 [1]

Contributed by David Kessler

Progress in the science of geophysics is typically accomplished in small steps by a large community of researchers. However, at certain points in time, big advancements are achieved by single persons. Dan Kosloff is one of these. Dan’s contributions to research, education, and industry have moved this body of knowledge forward significantly. From theoretical inventions to real-world implementations, his influence still has ripple effects, as exemplified by the success of his past students, who continue to build upon his work as they play a major role in today’s academic and industrial arenas.

Kosloff’s scholarly achievements are noteworthy, both as a student and professor. He earned a BA degree in mathematics and physics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a PhD in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology. Dan started his academic career in 1978, as a researcher at the University of Colorado and as a lecturer for Hebrew University. From 1980 to 1981, he was a visiting professor at the Seismic Acoustic Laboratory (SAL) at the University of Houston. In 1981, he joined the Department of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences at Tel Aviv University and served there until 2012. In 1992, Kosloff joined Paradigm Geophysical and, in parallel with his university assignments, was the company’s chief geophysicist until 2012, collaborating with Allon Bartana on the development of reflection tomography and Evgeny Ragoza on prestack depth migration. Dan has pioneered methods and algorithms commonly used today. In the early 1980s, working with Edip Baysal, he introduced the Fourier method for seismic forward modeling. Shortly after, working with Baysal and John Sherwood, he developed reverse time migration and coined the term “RTM.” This was one of three, nearly simultaneous publications which established RTM, a new depth-migration technology that he then expanded to three dimensions and implemented on Cray supercomputers in collaboration with Moshe Reshef.

His work with Zvi Koren and Evgeny Landa resulted in various practical velocity analysis techniques commonly used today. In the mid-1980s, while more closely investigating wave propagation in the Earth, Dan worked with Jose Carcione on visco-elastic forward modeling. He also introduced the Chebychev pseudo-spectral method with Tal Ezer, David Kessler, and Ekkehart Tessmer. In the same period, he collaborated with Tal Ezer in precise methods for the temporal propagation used in numerical solutions of wave equations.

Kosloff has promoted scientific geophysical research in many parts of the world. From 1980 to 1981, Dan was a visiting faculty member at the Seismic Acoustic Lab. From 1984 to 1985, he worked with Cray Research to implement wave-equation techniques on parallel supercomputers. From 1986 to 1987, he was a visiting professor at the Federal University of Bahia. From 1985 to 1993, Dan was a visiting professor at the University of Hamburg promoting geophysics research in Europe with Alfred Behle. In 1990-1992, he worked at Geophysical Development Corporation (GDC) in Houston on the development and implementation of tomographic velocity analysis techniques, which are widely used. In 2012, Kosloff joined SeismicCity as chief geophysicist. He is responsible for development of depth-imaging technology, from seismic simulation to velocity analysis and prestack depth migration.

Kosloff’s work has been recognized and adopted by both the academic community and industry. His authored and co-authored technical publications (approximately 50) demonstrate his breadth of knowledge, his unique scientific inventions, and work within the geophysical industry to transfer theoretical research to practical use.

Dan Kosloff’s contribution to the science of exploration geophysics consists of unique and original scientific research, which has been published in scientific journals; outstanding supervision and education of many geophysicists worldwide who, over the years, have contributed greatly to the advancement of the science of geophysics; and scientific contribution to the geophysical industry by implementations of new technologies used today.

Honorable Mention (Geophysics) 1990

H. Tal-Ezer, J. M. Carcione, and D. Kosloff received 1990 Honorable Mention (Geophysics) for their paper An accurate and efficient scheme for wave propagation in linear viscoelastic media. [2]


  1. Honors and Awards Citations (2014). ”2013 Honors and Awards citations.” 2013 Honors and Awards citations, 33(1), 14-32. doi: 10.1190/tle33010014.1
  2. Tal-Ezer, H., J. M. Carcione, and D. Kosloff (1990) An accurate and efficient scheme for wave propagation in linear viscoelastic media, GEOPHYSICS 55(10):1366.