Industry Insights | What Does Sparse Really Mean?

As towed-streamer acquisition narrows the gap on spatial sampling quality towards the ‘ideal’ seafloor survey, the cost of seafloor seismic remains under scrutiny. Andrew Long considers spatial sampling in marine seismic survey design and revisits least-squares migration.

In this article, Andrew considers ideal 3D sampling, velocity surveys, and looks at whether we can recover from sparse sampling. He seeks answers in acquisition engineering developments, creative survey designs, and new imaging solutions.

The high cost of ocean bottom surveys has spawned creative approaches to velocity model building and imaging. Can sparse OBN survey designs be used to generate a velocity model to uplift the reprocessing of existing seismic data? Could Least-Squares Migration with the full wavefield enable reservoir-scale imaging with sparse data?

However, he reminds us, the latest towed streamer survey designs couple large lateral source separations with up to 20 km long offsets and multi-sensor towed streamer data offers high-resolution 3D imaging faster and at a much lower cost than nodes. One thing is clear, there is still substantial room for improving the cost and quality of seismic data.

Read the article in our Technical Library