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Book Chapter

Seismic Wave Propagation - Modeling and Inversion

January 01, 1997


The propagation of energy via waves is a familiar phenomenon in our everyday life. The particular waves to be studied here are seismic waves which are intentionally created to image the interior of the earth Aki (1980), Claerbout (1985), , and (Telford), 1976. . Our three dimensional earth consists of more than the geological structures we are accustomed to thinking about, much of the earth is fluid or fluid like. Here the principal fluids of interest are hydrocarbons. The other essential uid to consider is water. The fluid-like materials include the many gases trapped in earth, gases like carbon dioxide, helium, and natural gas. Actually, we may not be aware of the less visible subsurface structure but all of the surface geology you can observe in some form exists under the surface and more.

To find accumulations of petroleum requires an intimate knowledge of the subsurface geology, the history of the material source and the structure of the subsurface. A reservoir requires porosity, a sealing mechanism, and a hydrocarbon source. The storage capacity is dependent on the porosity, the seal prevents leakage of the hydrocarbons, and the source generates the hydrocarbons. Note, the source rocks are not always the same as the reservoir rocks.

To produce hydrocarbons the reservoir must be found and be capable of producing fluids. The interconnections of the porous spaces, the permeability, permits flow of the gases and liquids. Tightly connected porous spaces are difficult producers, but well connected spaces have good permeability and are productive. The oil exploration process finds possible drilling locations and the actual drilling of a well is used to test the geological hypothesis of hydrocarbon existence.

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Society of Exploration Geophysicists Course Notes

Seismic Modeling and Imaging with the Complete Wave Equation

Ralph Phillip Bording
Ralph Phillip Bording
Institute for Geophysics University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas
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Larry R. Lines
Larry R. Lines
Department of Geology and Geophysics University of Calgary
Calgary, Alberta
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Society of Exploration Geophysicists
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 1997




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