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Book Chapter

Migration—the Inverse Method

By
J. D. Johnson
J. D. Johnson
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W. S. French
W. S. French
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Published:
January 01, 1982

Abstract

The purpose of seismic exploration in the petroleum industry is to produce models of subsurface geology that can be evaluated for the presence of hydrocarbons. The basic data consist of reflected elastic waves recorded at the surface or in boreholes. Other chapters address various details of seismic exploration, from acquisition to interpretation. In this chapter key aspects of transforming seismic data into images of the subsurface are discussed both as it is done presently and as we hope to do it in the future. In particular, we discuss

  1. concepts and associated computations necessary to produce an accurate picture of subsurface geology, a process called seismic migration;

  2. examples which demonstrate the rapidly advancing migration technology;

  3. estimates of data quantity and computer requirements of present and future migration and imaging technology.

Figure 1 illustrates the seismic method. A vibratory or impulsive source directs elastic waves into the subsurface where they are reflected and scattered by subsurface variations in physical properties. The waves returning to the surface are detected by geophones which record time histories of ground motion over a few seconds. The amplitudes, frequencies, and phases of these trace recordings are governed by such physical properties of the subsurface as elastic constants, geometry, dimensions, anelasticity, and anisotropy. Ideally we would like to extract quantitative estimates of these properties from seismic data, but presently only the acoustic velocities and structural geometries can be quantified with much success.

Seismic surveys can be conducted with sources and receivers placed along

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Contents

Concepts and Techniques in Oil and Gas Exploration

Kamal C. Jain
Kamal C. Jain
Venex Corporation Houston, TX
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Rui J. P. deFigueiredo
Rui J. P. deFigueiredo
Rice University Houston, TX
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Society of Exploration Geophysicists
ISBN electronic:
9781560802778
Publication date:
January 01, 1982

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