Interpretation - book

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Digital Imaging and Deconvolution: The ABCs of Seismic Exploration and Processing
Series Geophysical References Series
Title Digital Imaging and Deconvolution: The ABCs of Seismic Exploration and Processing
Author Enders A. Robinson and Sven Treitel
Chapter 2
ISBN 9781560801481
Store SEG Online Store

The use of iterative improvement is the well-known method commonly used in cases in which one must know the answer to find the answer. The images generated by migration should be representative of the physical earth. Any observable discrepancies are used as forcing functions in an iterative improvement method. Sometimes simple adjustments can be made, and other times, the whole imaging process has to be redone one or more times before a satisfactory solution can be obtained. In other words, interplay occurs between seismic processing and seismic interpretation - a manifestation of the well-accepted exchange between the disciplines of geophysics and geology (Ulrych and Clayton, 1976[1]; Russell, 1988[2]).

By using iterative improvement, one solves the seismic inverse problem. In other words, the imaging of seismic data requires a model of seismic velocity. Initially, a model of smoothly varying velocity is used. If the resulting image is not satisfactory, the velocity model is adjusted and a new image is formed. This process is repeated until a satisfactory image is obtained. In summary, iterative improvement is a means of adjusting the velocity function until, one hopes, an excellent subsurface image of the geology is obtained.


  1. Ulrych, T. J., and R. W. Clayton, 1976, Time series modeling and maximum entropy: Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 12, 188–200.
  2. Russell, B. H., 1988, Introduction to seismic inversion methods: SEG Distinguished Instructor Series No. 2.

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