An Introduction to Perceptive Seismic Interpretation

Dr. Steven Lynch

The objective of the course is to expose the audience to current trends in visualization and to empower them to adopt these new technologies and to integrate them into their workflows.

This course will introduce geoscientists to the emerging field of seismic visualization and provide both its theoretical foundation and an appreciation of its practical benefits for day to day seismic processing and interpretation projects.


Two days

Intended Audience

All levels

Prerequisites (Knowledge/Experience/Education required)

Seismic visualization being a new field, no prerequisite knowledge is required although familiarity with seismic either from a processing or an interpretation background is assumed.

Who should attend?

  • Processing geoscientists interested in improving the quality of their final product.
  • Interpretation geoscientists interested in reducing risk and uncertainty and in being able to successfully explore on the edge of seismic resolution.
  • Reservoir engineers who understand the importance of seismic but who question whether it can provide the answers they need.

Course Outline

The course is organized into two parts. Part one introduces the scientific fundamentals of visualization and challenges the audience to rethink their perceptions of what seismic is. Part two, is the practical section. Using seismic examples from all over the globe, it challenges the audience’s perception of what seismic is capable of.

Part One:  Changing Perceptions – Changing Focus

  1. The Human Element
    • A discussion of what visualization is from an objective, scientific perspective and why it is critically important to the future of exploration.
  2. What is Seismic?
    • Seismic should be thought of as a physical object and it has, as Niels Bohr put it, properties that must be viewed as a whole. 
  3. Engaging the Senses
    • There is a difference between seeing and perceiving; here the audience learns how to produce virtual perception; that our visual system is not a general-purpose tool; and that it has specific properties and objectives.
  4. Wavefield Reconstruction
    • Seismic is an analog acoustic wavefield, in this module the audience learns how to reconstruct it.
  5. Wavefield Visualization
    • If there is a signal in our seismic, regardless of where it came from or what it represents, we need to perceive it. Here the audience learns techniques to bring out even the subtlest of seismic signals.

Part Two: Interpreting at a Finer Scale

  1. Amplitude Interpretation
    • Amplitude is seismic’s most important attribute. In this module the audience discovers the advantages of moving beyond proxy colour displays and interpreting amplitudes directly.
  2. Interpreting Fault Plane Reflections
    • In this module the audience discovers how prevalent Fault Plane Reflections are and how to interpret them.
  3. Forensic Seismic Analysis
    • Here, the audience examines a series of obvious processing pitfalls that because of our inability to visualize them effectively, made their way into the final interpreted seismic.
  4. Restoring Context to Attributes
    • Seismic attributes are becoming increasingly important especially for quantitative seismic analysis. Here, the audience learns augmented reality techniques that significantly improve their effectiveness.
  5. Rethinking Stratigraphy
    • Stratigraphic Interpretation is a core competency for geoscientists. Here, the audience is exposed to a new visualization technique that significantly improves its effectiveness.

Learner Outcomes

  • Determine the most appropriate visualization technique for a given exploration scenario.
  • Gain an enhanced respect for the value of seismic amplitudes.
  • Learn how to interpret effectively using the least filtered seismic section.
  • Discover how to recognize and correct obvious processing pitfalls.
  • Interpret carbonate diagenesis with more confidence.
  • Perceive the relationship between attributes and the seismic they were created from.

Instructor Biography

Dr. Steven Lynch