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Vertical Seismic Profiles: Where We Are and Where We Are Going

Bob A. Hardage

From a historical point of view, the vertical seismic profile (VSP) is a seismic concept that predates the development of surface reflection seismology. However, until recently, far more research, development, and financial support have been expended on surface seismic recording than on VSPs. This disparity in the industry's support of VSP and surface seismology has some logical justification.

Although VSP has been an active research and exploration activity in the Soviet Union since the 1950s, the recent interest in VSP in the United States and Europe began only in the late 1970s. As a result of this resurgence of the popularity of VSP, probably more advances have been made in VSP equipment, field procedures, and data processing in the past 5 years than in all the preceding time that the technology has been known. This rapid advance in VSP capabilities, and the attendant increase in VSP applications and uses, makes one wonder where VSP technology would be now if this level of interest had been maintained since the inception of the technique. This paper has two objectives: (1) to summarize what the industry has accomplished in VSP to date (i.e., where we are), and (2) to de cribe the significant VSP trends that are emerging and suggest what additional technical advances need to be made (i.e., where we are going).

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91035©1988 AAPG-SEPM-SEG Pacific Sections and SPWLA Annual Convention, Santa Barbara, California, 17-19 April 1988.