Seismic Diffraction - Modeling, Imaging and Applications

by Tijmen Jan Moser

The course covers both the forward and inverse problems of seismic diffraction imaging.

The imaging of seismic diffraction is a rapidly emerging technology. This course will focus on the forward problem, extending from the discovery of the phenomenon of diffraction and the basic formulations of Fresnel and Kirchhoff to the evolution of modern seismic diffraction modeling. Diffraction imaging will be covered from the early works in the 1970s up to the present state of the art. Case studies will be presented covering examples from seismic exploration and other areas of geoscientific interest.

Duration

Two days

Intended Audience

Intermediate level

Prerequisites (Knowledge/Experience/Education required)

The prerequisites are a basic knowledge of seismic processing and imaging and an elementary mathematical background.

Course Summary

There is a strong need in exploration and production for a direct method to detect and characterize fractures and other small-scale reservoir heterogeneities. It is precisely the seismic response from such small-scale structural and lithological elements in the subsurface that is encoded in diffraction. The diffraction component of the total wavefield is therefore the key element for higher resolution seismic analysis. Diffraction imaging, which allows the diffraction component of the wavefield to be visualized separately, is of great help to an interpreter. Structural features, such as small-scale faults pinchouts and fractures, can be more readily and reliably localized, identified and characterized on the diffraction images. The imaging of seismic diffraction is a rapidly emerging technology. The course will cover both the forward and inverse problems. The forward problem will extend from the discovery of the phenomenon of diffraction and the basic formulations of Fresnel and Kirchhoff to the evolution of modern seismic diffraction modeling. Diffraction imaging will be covered from the early works in the 1970s up to the present state of the art. Case studies will be presented covering examples from seismic exploration and other areas of geoscientific interest.

Course Outline

  1. Introduction
    • Motivation, basic ideas and concepts
    • Reflection versus diffraction
    • Applications of diffraction
    • Interpretation value
  2. History
    • Discovery and founding years (1650-1820): Grimaldi, Huygens, Newton, Young, Fresnel, Poisson, Arago
    • Scalar diffraction: mathematical foundation – 19th century: Green, Helmholtz, Kirchhoff, Sommerfeld
    • Towards Geometrical Theory of Diffraction – early 20th century: Maggi, Rubinowicz, Keller
    • Towards Modern Theory: Trorey, Klem-Musatov
  3. Diffraction Modeling
    • Motivation, definitions, objectives
    • Physical modeling
    • Numerical modeling: integral methods, boundary layer methods, surface and caustic diffraction, finite differences, time-lapse, scattering methods
    • Case study: Diffraction on Ground Penetrating Radar Data
    • Case study: Diffraction response of Salt Diapirs
  4. Diffraction Imaging in Time Domain
    • Motivation, definitions, objectives
    • Anatomy of diffraction
    • Diffraction and standard processing
    • Detection of diffracted waves
    • Separation of diffracted waves
    • Inversion of diffracted waves
    • Imaging
    • Common Reflection Surface/Multifocusing
    • Focusing and velocity estimation
    • Fracture detection
  5. Diffraction Imaging in Depth Domain
    • Motivation
    • Velocity model considerations
    • Illumination: edge and tip diffraction imaging
    • Depth imaging: general principles
    • Resolution and super-resolution
    • Image processing and diffraction imaging
    • Diffraction imaging by specularity suppression
    • Applications: sandstone reservoirs, time-lapse, stratigraphic terminations against salt, carbonate reservoirs, shale resource plays, unconventional reservoirs
    • Diffractivity and productivity
    • Azimuthal dependance of diffractivity and fracture alignment detection
    • Diffraction imaging and reservoir connectivity
    • Diffraction response from vertical pipes and boreholes
    • Case study: Diffraction Imaging of the Eagle Ford Shale
    • Case study: Diffraction Imaging over Q16 - Dutch North Sea

Learner Outcomes

The course will be clearly structured in topics and suptopics to be covered. At the end of each topic, a number of bullet points will summarize the items meant to be memorized and taken home by the learner. Interaction between the teacher and learner will be encouraged. The course material will be enlightened by out-of-the box examples demonstrating diffraction phenomena and supporting the theory. The target audience of the course is general geoscientists with a basic knowledge of seismic processing and imaging and an elementary mathematical background.

By the end of this course, the learner will:

  • Have a detailed and up-to-date understanding of the physics of diffraction, diffraction modeling and imaging
  • Be able to effectively communicate the key aspects of diffraction technology with other professionals
  • Have a good understanding of the added value that seismic diffraction brings to current exploration and production projects

Instructor Biography

Tijmen Jan Moser

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Register by 30 July and save!