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Abstract: Benefits and Limitations of 3-D Poststack Depth Imaging in Complex Geological Settings

Julian Cabrera

Over the past several years there has been a dramatic improvement in the geophysical imaging of geologically complex areas. Three-dimensional acquisition and processing have added significantly to the imaging capabilities needed to view these three-dimensional earth structures. 3-D Previous HitdipNext Hit Previous HitmoveoutNext Hit (Previous HitDMOTop) and 3-D time migration have provided the exploration geophysicist with remarkably better images than their 2-D predecessors.

Because fast and inexpensive computer technologies are now available, this allows us to further improve our subsurface images by imaging in the depth domain. With these advances, 3-D poststack depth migration is quickly becoming a routine processing step before and during the interpretation of seismic data. Behind all this, the interpreter and seismic processor become the key driving forces from within a closed loop of interpretation, velocity model building, and depth migration.

We will present a series of case-history examples where we will see the clear benefits of applying 3-D poststack depth migration to problems where complex geology is present. We will point out that to keep succeeding we must still improve our velocity-model building techniques. We must then realize that there is only so much that poststack imaging can do and we must avail ourselves of 3-D prestack depth migration to continue with the imaging task.

This scenario will likely not stop ...

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90951©1996 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Caracas, Venezuela