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January 01, 2005


Our objective is to introduce you to the fundamentals of seismic data processing with a learn-by-doing approach. We do this with Seismic Un*x (SU), a free software package maintained and distributed by the Center for Wave Phenomena (CWP) at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM). At the outset, we want to express our gratitude to John Stockwell of the CWP for his expert counsel.

SU runs on several operating systems, including Unix, Microsoft Windows, and Apple Macintosh. However, we discuss SU only on Unix.

Detailed discussion of wave propagation, convolution, cross- and auto-correlation, Fourier transforms, semblance, and migration are too advanced for this Primer. Instead, we suggest you refer to other publications of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, such as “Digital Processing of Geophysical Data – A Review” by Roy O. Lindseth and one of the two books by Ozdogan Yilmaz: “Seismic Data Processing,” 1987 and “Seismic Data Analysis,” 2001.

Our goal is to give you the experience and tools to continue exploring the concepts of seismic data processing on your own.

This Primer covers all processing steps necessary to produce a time migrated section from a 2-D seismic line. We use three sources of input data:

  • Synthetic data generated by SU;

  • Real shot gathers from the Oz Yilmaz collection at the Colorado School of Mines (; and

  • Real 2-D marine lines provided courtesy of Prof. Greg Moore of the University of Hawaii: the “Nankai” data set and the “Taiwan” data set.

  • The University of Texas, the

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Society of Exploration Geophysicists Course Notes

Seismic Data Processing with Seismic Un*x: A 2D Seismic Data Processing Primer

David Forel
David Forel
Michigan Technological University
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Thomas Benz
Thomas Benz
Michigan Technological University
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Wayne D. Pennington
Wayne D. Pennington
Michigan Technological University
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Society of Exploration Geophysicists
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Publication date:
January 01, 2005




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