Editor's note: This paper is an updated version of an article in Significant Developments in Seismic Exploration in the Last Decade and Future Developments, a special issue of the CSEG Recorder in 2001. The reader is referred to that article for a detailed reference list. Many of the referenced papers can be found at http://www.glg.ed.ac.uk/∼scrampin/opinion/.

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In this article, I suggest a new style of geophysics as a critical system, which has profound implications for almost all aspects of prefracturing deformation in the crust, particularly reservoir characterization, time-lapse seismics, and hydrocarbon recovery. One of the most important features of...

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