The Leading Edge complements Geophysics, SEG's peer-reviewed publication long unrivalled as the world's most respected vehicle for dissemination of developments in exploration and development geophysics. TLE is a gateway publication, introducing new geophysical theory, instrumentation, and established practices to scientists in a wide range of geoscience disciplines. Most material is presented in a semitechnical manner that minimizes mathematical theory and emphasizes practical applications. TLE also serves as SEG's publication venue for official Society business.
Each issue of TLE includes a special section devoted to a particular area of technology, especially new techniques or methods that seem likely to have a major impact in the near future on the working routine of most practicing geophysicists. Experts, many of international renown, select articles for these special sections, which are announced ahead of time (often a year or more) in the TLE Editorial Calendar. In addition, TLE's Classifieds section is the world's marketplace for businesses and people looking for geophysical goods and services.
TLE's regular features also include the following technical departments with periodic articles on key technological aspects of geophysics. Material for each of these departments is selected and approved by a geophysicist working in the field.
- Acquisition/Processing treats the latest developments in what many consider the "hard" science part of geophysics.
- Interpreter's Corner is a major focus of TLE because SEG surveys indicate that at least 50% of its 20,000 members (representing more than 100 countries) consider interpretation of geophysical data as their primary duty. These articles emphasize seismology but are not limited to that technique.
- The Meter Reader is designed to update SEG members on the latest developments in potential-fields geophysics.
Some departments in TLE cover areas other than technology that are likely to impact SEG members. These articles have varied authorship.
- Round Table offers a forum for debate of contentious issues (technical and nontechnical) affecting geophysics and geophysicists.
- Interpreter Sam chronicles the everyday misadventures of the Everyman of interpretation.
- Seismic Soundoff presents a transcribed excerpt of a recent episode of SEG’s applied geophysics podcast.
- President's Page provides a forum for the SEG Board of Directors to communicate with SEG members about current events related to Society business.
- Geophysics Bright Spots summarizes upcoming articles in Geophysics.
- Signals publishes letters to the editor.
Technology: Applied geophysics is a rapidly changing field. For example, 3D seismology, already rated one of the great technological breakthroughs in the history of resource exploration, has been in routine use only for about 20 years. Although 3D seismic is the best known of the recent advances in technology, there have been many others — AVO, AVA, coherence cube, ocean-bottom seismic, 4D or time-lapse seismic, multicomponent recording and interpretation, deepwater technology, etc. Because the field is changing so rapidly and often unpredictably, TLE publishes articles on all aspects of geophysical technology well before these areas have undergone enough field testing for rigorous peer review. TLE aims to serve as a "loose filter," publishing articles deemed of interest to most exploration geophysicists, but none that run counter to the accepted laws of physics.