Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Data Quality and Management

January 01, 2011


The importance of data quality and management continues to increase as we address ever more demanding interpretation challenges and move irreversibly farther into the workstation environment. In the glare of technological developments enabled by massive growth in computing power, we must not lose sight of the critical needs to assess data quality as an essential element of every interpretation project and to manage the burgeoning volumes of data and interpretation products that threaten to overwhelm us. More than you may realize, these two concerns can affect the quality, timeliness, and ultimately the business value of your interpretation.

A discussion of seismic data quality necessarily begins by defining exactly what is meant by “quality.” In its most general sense, quality is the degree to which something fulfills its intended purpose. All measures of seismic data quality are inherently subjective, so it is important to know why a particular data set was acquired and processed the way it was so as to set the proper context for assessing its quality. For example, you wouldn't grade data from a conventional 3D survey purposely acquired and processed for deep exploration as poor quality because they aren't suitable for evaluationing shallow drilling hazards. Similarly, you wouldn't consider data from a 2D high-resolution shallow hazards survey as poor quality because they are useless for deep exploration (compare Figures 1 and 2). Given the purpose for a data set, you evaluate quality based on specific characteristics according to the degree to which the data set suits its purpose.

Assessing seismic data quality is one of the most important aspects of your job as a seismic interpreter. It is an expectation that you satisfy and a requirement that you meet in every interpretation project. Your ability to describe and effectively communicate your evaluation of data quality develops over time as you gain experience, expand your knowledge of seismic data acquisition and processing, and broaden your exposure to different elements of geology in a wide range of settings and environments.

You do not currently have access to this article.

Figures & Tables


Society of Exploration Geophysicists Geophysical Monograph Series

First Steps in Seismic Interpretation

Donald A. Herron
Donald A. Herron
Search for other works by this author on:
Society of Exploration Geophysicists
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 2011




Citing Books via

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal