Chapter 1 includes a number of short introductory papers on the seismic diffraction problem to provide readers with an overview of the forward and inverse problems. The papers cover important concepts and include numerical and real data examples. Mathematical content is kept to a minimum.
Seismic reflection records taken across faults frequently show an overlapping of reflections from the displaced blocks. It is demonstrated that diffraction of seismic waves is a cause and the effect may be used in interpretation. Overlapping is increased if a seismic profile crosses a fault at an acute angle. Plotted dips will be inaccurate unless diffraction is taken into account. Further, the diffraction oscillation pattern will also be obtained if a reflection horizon terminates for a reason other than faulting, for example, at a wedgeout or reef edge, or at a sudden change of facies. The facts developed are demonstrated by practical examples in which attention is directed to the approximations involved in plotting the boundaries of discontinuities.
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The use of diffraction imaging to complement the seismic reflection method is rapidly gaining momentum in the oil and gas industry. As the industry moves toward exploiting smaller and more complex conventional reservoirs and extensive new unconventional resource plays, the application of the seismic diffraction method to image sub-wavelength features such as small-scale faults, fractures and stratigraphic pinchouts is expected to increase dramatically over the next few years. “Seismic Diffraction” covers seismic diffraction theory, modeling, observation, and imaging. Papers and discussion include an overview of seismic diffractions, including classic papers which introduced the potential of diffraction phenomena in seismic processing; papers on the forward modeling of seismic diffractions, with an emphasis on the theoretical principles; papers which describe techniques for diffraction mathematical modeling as well as laboratory experiments for the physical modeling of diffractions; key papers dealing with the observation of seismic diffractions, in near-surface-, reservoir-, as well as crustal studies; and key papers on diffraction imaging.