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SWLGS Luncheon Topics

Updated Feb. 28, 2008

March 11, 2007

Emerging and Future Trends in Sesimic Attritributes

By    Satinder Chopra, Arcis Corporation, Alberta, Canada 


Abstract Summary

Seismic attributes extract information from seismic reflection data that can be used for both quantitative and qualitative interpretation. Some attributes such as seismic amplitude, envelope, RMS amplitude, spectral magnitude, acoustic impedance, elastic impedance, and AVO measures are directly sensitive to changes in seismic impedance. Other attributes such as peak-to-trough thickness, peak frequency, and bandwidth are sensitive to layer thicknesses. Both of these classes of attributes can be quantitatively correlated to well control using multivariate analysis, geostatistics, or neural networks. Seismic attributes such as coherence, Sobel filter edge detectors, amplitude gradients, dip-azimuth, curvature, and gray-level co-occurrence matrix texture attributes provide images that allow interpreters to qualitatively use geologic models of structural deformation, seismic stratigraphy, and seismic geomorphology, to infer the presence of fractures or the likelihood of encountering sand-prone facies.


It is therefore no surprise that research workers at major oil companies, geoscience contractors and universities continue not only to develop new seismic attributes and improve workflows using well-established attributes but also to minimize seismic artifacts and calibrate the attribute expression of geologic features that were previously unrecognized or overlooked. There has virtually been an explosion in seismic attributes in the last several years, and interpreters use them routinely and successfully.


Three years ago, we were asked to provide a historical perspective on seismic attributes to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (Chopra and Marfurt, 2005). My goal in this talk on seismic attributes is to update readers on the progress made since that time and also talk about the directions in which seismic attributes are headed.  As in 2005, this talk will focus more on attributes used in mapping structure and stratigraphy, leaving attributes used in lithologic estimation and the direct detection of hydrocarbons to experts in those fields.




Chopra, S. and Marfurt, K.J., Seismic Attributes – A Historical Perspective, Geophysics, 70 , no.5, 3SO-28SO.

Biographical Sketch

Satinder Chopra received MS and M.Phil. degrees in physics from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla, India.  He joined the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) of India in 1984 and served there till 1997.  In 1998 he joined CTC Pulsonic at Calgary, which later became Scott Pickford and Core Laboratories Reservoir Technologies.  Currently, he is working as Manager, Reservoir Services at Arcis Corporation, Calgary.


In the last 24 years Satinder has worked in regular seismic processing, and interactive interpretation, but has spent more time in special processing of seismic data involving seismic attributes including coherence and textures, seismic inversion, AVO, VSP processing and frequency enhancement of seismic data.  His research interests focus on techniques that are aimed at characterization of reservoirs.  He has published 5 books and more than 130 papers and abstracts and likes to make presentations at any beckoning opportunity.  He is a member of the SEG ‘The Leading Edge’ Editorial Board, the editor of the CSEG RECORDER and the Ex-Chairman of the SEG Publications Committee.  He received several awards at ONGC, and more recently has received the 2007 ‘Best Paper’ Award for his paper entitled ‘Curvature and iconic Coherence-Attributes adding value to 3D Seismic Data Interpretation’ presented at the CSEG Technical Luncheon, Calgary, in January 2007 as well as the 2005 CSEG Meritorious Services Award. His paper entitled ‘Seismic attributes for fault/fracture characterization’, presented at the 2007 SEG Convention held at San Antonio, was ranked among the top thirty of all the papers presented. He and his colleagues have received the CSEG Best Poster Awards in successive years from 2002 to 2005.  He is a member of SEG, CSEG, CSPG, EAGE, AAPG, APEGGA (Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta) and TBPG (Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists).