E-Lecture Webinar: Seismic Attenuation: Friend or Foe

Webinar details
Instructor:   Mark Vardy
Duration:   40 min + Q&A
Discipline:   Seismic Processing
Main topics:  Seismic attenuation
 Quantitative interpretation
 Ground modelling
Language:   English

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In the EAGE E-Lecture: "Seismic Attenuation: Friend or Foe", the role of attenuation in marine near surface seismic reflection data sets is assessed, together with a discussion on its potential usefulness for quantitative characterization of the subsurface. The basic theory of intrinsic attenuation is briefly outlined, introducing the seismic Quality factor (Q-factor) parameter. Several methods are outlined that can be used to make estimates of the subsurface Q-factor from single-channel or short-offset seismic reflection data and how basic data quality can be improved by compensating for attenuation. Moreover, it is examined at how variations in Q-factor reflect changing ground conditions, demonstrating a strong link with sediment lithology and drained versus undrain soil mechanical behavior. By combining Q-factor estimates with more standard geophysical parameters (P-wave velocity and/or impedance) it is illustrated how fundamental ground conditions can be inferred using geophysical data alone. As such, it is suggested that attenuation should be considered a useful quantitative parameter, alongside reflection amplitude, phase and frequency.

Participants' Profile

All practitioners interested in the quantitative characterization of the marine near surface, be they geologists, geotechnical engineers or geophysicists.

About the Lecturer

Mark vardyMark obtained an MPhys in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Sheffield, before moving to the University of Southampton where he studied for an MRes and then a PhD in Marine Geophysics. After his PhD, he stayed on as a Research Fellow, before becoming a Principle Scientist for NERC. Mark has worked on all manner of offshore projects, from inshore infrastructure developments to large-scale offshore installations, and with clients including Shell, BP, TOTAL, De Beers, and National Grid. He specialises in the development of novel high-resolution geophysical solutions to marine near surface problems.

He was a co-inventor of the 3D Chirp decimetre-resolution 3D seismic system, has designed a multi-channel seismic streamer suitable for ultra-high-resolution full waveform inversion, and developed two specialist seismic software packages specifically designed to provide optimal qualitative and quantitative imagery from high-resolution seismic reflection data. In particular, his development of machine learning workflows to predict geotechnical properties from seismic reflection data has garnered significant interest within the marine site survey sector. 

Mark also sits on the Shallow Marine Geophysics committee for EAGE, is a Deputy Editor for Near Surface Geophysics, and has given invited, keynote speeches at both national and international conferences.