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12. Case History 7 Modeling the Seismic Response of Geologic Structures with Physical Models




For a given exploration problem, an explorationist must choose the most accurate and yet cost-effective method for interpreting the seismic response of an earth section. An accurate interpretation translates the measured round-trip traveltimes of seismic waves into a picture of the subsurface. Wave-equation theories link traveltimes with depth. However, interpreting seismic data in terms of wave propagation theories is difficult because rarely is a sufficiently detailed knowledge of all the relevant parameters available. For example, without accurate velocity information, a unique depth picture is impossible. Deriving accurate velocity information from seismic data can be very difficult. Therefore, interpreters frequently compare the seismic response of probable models of the subsurface which have known elastic parameters and structures with a field data set to test an interpretation. A match between model data and field data increases an interpreters confidence in the picture of the subsurface inferred from the seismic data.