Optimising the value of near-surface seismic reflection data

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: School of Ocean and Earth Science


While seismic methods to investigate depths from several hundred m to km depth beneath the seabed have advanced significantly over the past 20 years, the techniques used to investigate the shallowest 100-200m largely remain very basic. In this project we will adapt techniques from conventional exploration to address the challenges of investigating the shallow subsurface at sub-metre resolution. We will apply a combination of prestack depth migration and post-stack and prestack waveform inversion to multi-offset high-resolution seismic data with three main aims: Deriving high quality structural images of the near surface; estimating physical properties of the near surface and interpreting those properties in terms of parameters that are relevant to engineering within the marine environment; determining error bounds on our estimates of the physical properties. We will do this using a combination of standard industry software such as ProMAX and custom codes to address particular aspects of the problem such as accounting for streamer geometry with sufficient accuracy, waveform inversion, and determining error bounds on the physical property estimates. We will work initially with existing datasets collected in a range of environments and water depths (from 10m to ~200m), although we will expect to collect at least one dedicated dataset with the involvement of the student, probably after ~2 years of the project.


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