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GEOLOGY & GEOPHYSICS
works with existing arrays without changes and is compatible with
typical handling arrangements, says Bolt.
As is usually the case, when more and bigger program packages
are developed, the hardware suppliers respond with more capacity
and methods of increasing computational speed.
A number of speakers addressed the broader issues during the
meeting. Among them, Christof Stork of ION Geophysical discussed
the decline of conventional seismic acquisition in favor of specialized
techniques. Stork said acquisition outcomes improve as acquisition
systems become more fexible and include the capacity to specialize.
He expects this trend to accelerate because better processing allows
for irregular and non-uniform acquisition; new processing tools beneft from specialized acquisition; and better risk management will
help operators accept unconventional acquisition.
As to time-domain seismic imaging, Sergey Fomel of the University of Texas Jackson School of Geosciences talked about advances
in velocity-independent, time-to-depth conversion, and wave-equation
time migration, pointing at opportunities for technical improvements.
Least-squares migration (LSM) was Gerard Schuster’s topic.
Schuster, of KAUST, looked at how migration artifacts can degrade
migration images and how these artifacts can be handled by linearly
inverting seismic data for refectivity distribution.
Describing the ideal future of seismic imaging and seismic inversion being completely combined into a single process, Samuel Gray
focused on the future of inversion. He noted how seismic imaging
and seismic inversion are being used in combination.
Kurt Marfurt said he foresees an increasing interactive comput-
er/interpreter link to areas currently thought of as seismic process-
ing. He also talked about increased application of cluster analysis
and statistical correlation to completion processes and production
Allen Gilmer, CEO of Drillinginfo Inc., addressed big data and the
potential impact it can have on oil and gas analytics. He showed how
analytics and big data are used successfully in other industries such
as Netfix, the insurance industry, and Google Analytics.
“Digital seismology is the granddaddy of big-data analytics. You
have to do a lot of work to get something out of the data,” said Gilmer.
Honors and awards
This year’s event introduced a new award, the Outstanding Educator Award. The inaugural recipient is Dr. Susan Webb, senior lecturer at the University of the Witswatersrand in South Africa. She
was selected for her contributions in teaching geophysics classes,
her impact on education programs through her commitment to excellence in geophysics education, her special dedication to advising,
supervising, and mentoring students, and the inspiration she provides to the next generation of geophysics professionals.
The Kauffman Gold Medal for an outstanding contribution to the
advancement of the science of geophysical exploration during the
previous fve years went to Dr. Peter Duncan for advances in passive
monitoring and microseismic, through his company Microseismic
The Maurice Ewing Medal is given to someone “deserving of
special recognition through having made major contributions to the
advancement of the science and profession of exploration geophysics.” This award is not awarded every year.
Dr. Norman Bleistein, a mathematician formerly of the Colorado
School of Mines, is the recipient. •