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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE5166M Seismic Data Processing

15 creditsClass Size: 40

Module manager: Dr Roger Clark

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

Course entrance pre-requisites

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

In this module, students will learn principles and practice of processing surface-seismic reflection and vertical-seismic-profile (VSP) data.


To review the methods used to process surface-seismic reflection data from raw data through to final seismic sections, and VSP data from raw data to corridor-stacks; to understand the physical principles that underlie these methods and how they are applied.

To reinforce and apply the knowledge of surface-seismic reflection and VSP data processing, by processing synthetic and/or real ('legacy') data over an extractive-industry target, using industry-standard software tools.

Learning outcomes
After completing this module, students will be able to
• understand the theory and principles behind surface-seismic reflection and VSP data processing;
• execute and critique the processing of 2D seismic reflection lines to a credible professional standard;
• author the necessary reportage for documenting a seismic processing sequence at a credible professional standard.

Learning outcomes will be assessed using formative practical exercises, an independent processing report, and an unseen exam.


Surface-seismic reflection processing: processing overview, subjectivity and evolution of processing outcomes.

Data formats, QC editing, amplitude scaling, binning to CMPs. Field static corrections for land and marine data. Deconvolution (deterministic and statistical: wavelet shaping, de-ghosting and de-signature, inverse Q deconvolution, predictive deconvolution). Signal-to-noise improvement by single and multi-trace filtering (bandpass, median, FK-, and Radon: other de-noise tools). Velocity analysis (CVG, CVS, semblance, NMO stretching and muting, spread-length bias, higher-order and anisotropic velocity analysis). Residual statics. Stacking tools, angle gathers, post-stack enhancement and display options. Multiple suppression (FK, Radon-domain, SRME). Migration: principles, DMO, methods (impulse responses, aperture; Kirchhoff/ray- and WEM-based methods, incl. RTM. Stolt FK). Post- and pre-stack, time and depth methods: resolution effects. Velocity updating tools (parametric, subsurface offset, tomographic, FWI). Special processing tasks: time-lapse (4D), converted-wave (PS) and ocean-bottom (OBC) surveys.

Vertical seismic profile (VSP) processing: signal and noise types and characteristics, wavefield separation, corridor stacks, VSP-CDP migration, direct property measurement.

Illustrative and investigative application of parts of the above, using industry-standard software package(s).

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours98.00
Total Contact hours52.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Completion of practicals and assessments, computer exercises, literature search, reading text books, and revision for examination.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Software workshops with feedback on example processing sequences; formative feedback during assessed practicals.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentCoursework Assignment40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

Resit by examination only (see below)

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

A student who fails this Module may be offered a resit. The re-sit for this module will be a single unseen examination, of duration 2 hours, covering the same content, covering all Module Learning Outcomes. It will not necessarily be of the same format as the original examination. If the re-sit is granted as a new first attempt, the original examination mark will be discarded, and replaced by the re-sit examination mark even if it is lower. It will then be aggregated with the first-attempt coursework to provide a new Module mark. If the re-sit is a second and final attempt, the re-sit mark provides a new alternative mark for the whole Module and will be capped at 50%.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 10/05/2023 16:29:09


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