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A new model of compression in the Upper Triassic overlying the Rhyl Field has been developed for the Keys Basin, Irish Sea. This paper highlights the significance of the overburden velocity model in revealing the true structure of the field. The advent of 3D seismic and pre-stack depth migration has improved the interpreter's knowledge of complex velocity fields, such as shallow channels, salt bodies and volcanic intrusions. The huge leaps in processing power and migration algorithms have advanced the understanding of many anomalous features, but at a price: seismic imaging has always been a balance of quality against time and cost. As surveys get bigger and velocity analyses become more automated, quality control of the basic geological assumptions becomes an even more critical factor in the processing of seismic data and in the interpretation of structure. However, without knowledge of both regional and local geology, many features in the subsurface can be processed out of the seismic by relying too heavily on processing algorithms to image the structural model. Regrettably, without an integrated approach, this sometimes results in basic geological principles taking second place to technology and has contributed to hiding the structure of the Rhyl Field until recently.

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