Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

Old entries from my weblog on geophysics and the energy industry.

Last week I attended an all-day meeting at UH for the DOE National Lab projects titled "Testing Advanced Computational Tools for 3D Seismic Imaging" and "Next Generation Seismic Modeling and Imaging." These are the current continuations of the Imaging-SEG Project. Over the last five years, I received some off-and-on funding from this program through contracts with Rice University. Here are my notes from the meeting:

  • Leigh House of Los Alamos has been relocated to D.C., and is not working on these projects this year. Peter Roberts of LANL has taken over Leigh's administrative role.

  • Prolific researcher Biondo Biondi presented details of his wave equation prestack depth migration algorithm, which he refered to as Fourier finite difference plus interpolation (FFDPI). He also presented some prestack imaging results of a well-known North Sea salt body. I missed Biondo's presentations at SEG last month, so I was happy I got to see these talks.

  • Peter Roberts gave a presentation on "Prestack split-step Fourier migration of the SEG physical model." I've worked a lot with split-step Fourier migration in the past, so I was excited to see this. I believe that Peter was presenting work that was mostly done by Lian-Jie Huang and Michael Fehler, also from Los Alamos. I checked the SEG site to see if they presented a paper at the meeting last month. Instead, I found this paper on the Fourier finite difference method!

  • AGL at UH is still very active in these projects, through physical modeling and the development of new wave equation migration methods. Anning Hou of AGL presented results using two algorithms for pseudo spectral prestack depth migration.

  • UH professor Arthur Weglein gave a brief review of his SEG presentation on depth imaging and inversion without velocities. Arthur has not been involved with the DOE projects in the past.

  • Shawn Larsen of Lawrence Livermore, the author of the E3D finite difference elastic modeling code, showed examples of recent elastic modeling runs using our extended SEG salt model. Shawn is currently running his code at 85 Gflops; he expects to have access to a 12 Tflop machine in the near future.

  • From the audience, Bee Bedner of ADS responded to Shawn's talk by asking something like, "Now that we can generated all this data, what are we going to do with it?" Leon Thomsen of BP suggested that we should be considering high frequency models with subseismic details and lithologic effects for reservoir characterization studies.

  • At the end of the meeting, Bob Wiley announced that he has been asked by the SEG research committee to chair a committee to design a "benchmark" model for a next generation modeling effort. He is looking for volunteers to work on this new project.

I'm still very interested in this project, but I haven't formed an opinion on what direction it should take next. If I have any coherent thoughts in the next month, I'll post them on my homepage.

Walter Kessinger

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