Pat Lindsey

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Pat Lindsey
J. Pat Lindsey headshot.png
Membership Life Member


Biography Citation for SEG Life Membership

Contributed by John R. Butler, Jr.


Pat has been a persistent contributor to our profession and the Society for more than 40 years. With an energy level that never ceases to amaze, this unique individual has the capacity to turn his many ideas into useful realities. One can only speculate on just how far the science of geophysics would have progressed if all of the ideas Pat generated over the years could have been acted upon by the many companies to which he contributed both technically and commercially.

His reputation as an originator and communicator of ideas is well established among the brightest people in our industry, as well as his knack for explaining even the most complex technology to beginners in a comprehensible way. Never shy about voicing his opinion of a bad idea, he can carry it off graciously.

Those who know Pat recognize his keen intelligence and sharp wit. Humor is his constant companion, and he never takes himself too seriously. Anyone who has ever worked with Pat has enjoyed the association, and this is perhaps his most impressive characteristic.

Pat grew up in north Texas with an unquenchable appetite for knowledge. He graduated from Oklahoma State University with an M.S. in electrical engineering (1954). He had already started working in 1953 for Phillips Petroleum in their Geophysical Research Group where he designed and built analog filtering devices for convolution and correlation, participated in the first design of field and office equipment for common depth seismic application, and helped develop early autostatics methods using cross correlation of seismic recordings. He was also involved in the early development of physical models for studying wave propagation, conducted field experiments in noise suppression and acquisition design, led experiments in early pattern recognition and holographic applications to seismic problems, and supervised the design, installation, and use of early digital computers for seismic data processing.

In 1964 Pat went to work for Geocom, Inc., an independent seismic data processing company. There he participated in the development and application of the first commercially offered section migration capability using the Kirchhoff method, and developed the first relative amplitude processing capability before the advent of bright spot interpretation for gas indication became widely known (circa 1971). He also developed early stratigraphic modeling methods for estimating gas sand thicknesses in the Gulf of Mexico.

In 1973 he joined GeoQuest International as a partner and vice-president. Here he developed the earliest commercial use of wavelet estimation and correction for preparation of seismic data for stratigraphic interpretation, and originated the phrase "wavelet processing," which has become standard terminology in the seismic industry.

Pat also participated in developing applications of ray and wave theory modeling to seismic structural and stratigraphic problems, invented interpretive techniques of using amplitude and time thickness measurements of gas sand responses for pore volume estimating, and later generated and led hundreds of seminars over a 15-year span in seismic stratigraphic interpretation. In one of his most popular offerings, "Geophysics for Geologists and Engineers," Pat made seismic interpretation understandable, fun, and appreciated by hundreds of fellow geoscientists who needed to relate their disciplines to the world of seismic.

In 1992 GX Technology was created from several business units of GeoQuest International to continue exploitation of the geophysical technology previously developed. As vice-president of geophysical technology, Pat helped in the marketing of modeling and imaging products, while at the same time continued to develop modeling applications. He also supervised a specialty group in data processing to increase bandwidth for enhanced stratigraphic interpretation. Most recently Pat has become an associate to GX Technology for product applications as he has turned to private consulting in the application of seismic technology.

A member of the Society since 1960, Pat holds part to complete ownership of 22 patents, has published papers in various scientific journals, and has served SEG as Editor, Distinguished Lecturer, and TLE Editorial Board member.

The Society is fortunate to have a member like Pat Lindsey who has devoted his life to the advancement of geophysics and has added a lot of humor and spice in the process. Teacher, dreamer, collaborator, inventor, respected colleague, Pat has been a keen contributor to our profession and an inspiration to us all.