Abstract

The subject matter of this review paper pertains to developments during the past several years in the area of reflection seismic data processing and analysis.While this subject area is extensive in both its breadth and scope, one indisputable fact emerges: the computer is now more pervasive than ever. Processing areas which were computer intensive, such as signal enhancement, are now even more so; and those formerly exclusive domains of man, such as seismic interpretation, are beginning to feel the encroachment of the large number crunchers. What the future holds is anyone's guess, but it is quite probable that man and computer will share the throne if the interactive seismic processing systems on the drawing boards come to pass.For the present and recent past, however, the most intensively developed areas of seismic data processing and analysis include 1) computer extraction of processing parameters such as stacking velocity and statics, 2) automated detection and tracking of reflections in multidimensional parameter space to provide continuous estimates of traveltime, amplitude, moveout (velocity), dip, etc., 3) direct digital migration in two dimensions, giving improved subsurface 'pictures' and utilizing diffraction energy normally lost by specular processing techniques, and 4) development of quantitative understanding of the limitations imposed by current seismic processing practice and assumptions with regard to structural and stratigraphic model building, and recognition of the ultimate need for an iterative signal processing--information extraction--model building closed loop system.

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