SEG Honorary Lecture at Heriot-Watt University

Prof. Colin Macbeth and Dr Laurent Sirgue (pictured centre front) with some lecture attendees

Full waveform inversion of seismic data: investigating the Earth for high-resolution velocities and more €¦

The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) Heriot-Watt Chapter hosted the SEG Honorary Lecture at Heriot-Watt University.

Dr Laurent Sirgue (Total, France) is a geophysicist who has been conducting research on the topic of full waverform inversion (FWI) for nearly 15 years.

FWI exposed at IPE HWU by Laurent Sirgue of Total, using a banana and M&Ms!

In his presentation he reviewed the basic theory of FWI, then proceeded by means of illustrative synthetic examples to define the key parameters that play a role in the success of FWI data and model requirements. This will lead to the understanding of why FWI has enjoyed its most success in the recovery of shallow velocity anomalies.

One of the highlights of his presentation was using everyday objects like a banana and M&Ms to demonstrate the capability of full waveform inversion. Through iterative refinement of backward modelling, the high resolution imaging of the objects were observed, and this left the audience amazed. 

He continued by showing real data examples to demonstrate the potential of FWI to generate high-resolution velocity models which may improve the images produced by PSDM.

Because of the highly detailed nature of the velocity field produced from FWI, it also contains valuable information that can be used directly for geologic interpretation. He finally discussed ongoing research and the evolution of FWI across the academic and industrial communities.

A mix of representatives from the industry and universities (Heriot Watt University and University of Edinburgh) were present at the talk, which made it a great place for networking and learning. Feedback from the audience was highly positive and the Q&A session spurred up tremendous interest, such as potential application to current research in geophysics.