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Book Chapter

Vertical Seismic Profiles

January 01, 2004


“A vertical seismic profile (VSP) is a measurement in which a seismic signal generated at the surface of the earth is recorded by geophones secured at various depths to the wall of a drilled well” (Hardage, 1983, p. 1).

There are, in fact, many types of VSP, and the common bond is the borehole. We will look at the acquisition, processing, and interpretation of VSPs from a practical standpoint. VSPs are important because they provide a tie between seismic and borehole images, allow us to create detailed velocity profiles, assist with advanced exploration techniques such as imaging below the drill bit, and allow us to accurately estimate anisotropy parameters.

VSPs have higher resolution than surface seismic recordings, because the seismic waves mostly pass through the attenuating near-surface strata only once, which is not the case with surface-recorded data. A VSP records both downgoing energy and upgoing energy, known as wavefields. Processing of the VSP involves separating the wavefields and identifying the primary events. We interpret the VSP at each processing step to obtain a full understanding of the wavefield.

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Geophysical Monograph Series

Fundamentals of Geophysical Interpretation

Laurence R. Lines
Laurence R. Lines
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Rachel T. Newrick
Rachel T. Newrick
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Society of Exploration Geophysicists
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 2004




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