Reflection Seismology Concepts
In the oil industry, geophysical interpretation is concerned mainly with one method — surface reflection seismology. Although other seismic techniques, such as refraction seismology, borehole seismology (cross-borehole and vertical seismic profiling [VSP]), and teleseismic methods are sometimes used, reflection seismology remains the workhorse of exploration geophysics.
Many good textbooks describe theoretical seismology (Aki and Richards, 2002), exploration seismology (Sheriff and Geldart, 1995), and seismic data processing (Yilmaz, 2001). Our purpose is not to duplicate the excellent information on exploration seismology in those books but to explain some basic principles of reflection seismology that are necessary for seismic interpretation. These principles involve reflection amplitudes and traveltimes. We leave the details to those other textbooks.
Figures & Tables
Fundamentals of Geophysical Interpretation, SEG Geophysical Monograph Series No. 13, is a practical handbook for the petroleum geophysicist. Fundamental concepts are explained using heuristic descriptions of seismic modeling, deconvolution, depth migration, and tomography. Pitfalls in processing and contouring are described briefly. Applications include petroleum exploration of carbonate reefs, salt intrusions, and overthrust faults. The book includes past, present, and possible future developments in time-lapse seismology, borehole geophysics, multicomponent seismology, and integrated reservoir characterization.