... let the data speak to you  

1911 Country Brook Lane
Allen, Texas 75002
Phone +1-214-544-7183
Fax +1-214-544-0452
E-mail alistair@airmail.net


"Alistair's most outstanding contribution has been his book, Interpretation of Three-Dimensional Seismic Data. It has been a best-seller since it first appeared [and] has been very influential in bringing about the expansion of 3-D and in the success of geophysics today" --- Robert E. Sheriff 

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Preface to the Seventh Edition

            The original suggestion to prepare a book on Interpretation of Three-Dimensional Seismic Data occurred in 1979, only four years after the advent of commercial 3-D surveys. Who would then have thought that 3-D would become such an important part of our business? The first edition of this book was published 23 years ago. To date the book has been through six editions and more than 23,000 total copies have sold, that is 1000 per year, or 3 per day. The subject continues to be important and there is still a lot to learn.

            Extracting more geology from seismic data continues to be the prevailing theme. Understanding the data properly and using modern workstations in an appropriate manner are critical. I continue to emphasize the techniques which I consider important and useful. Too many interpreters today use techniques because they exist rather because there is some established or postulated purpose. Seismic data is composed of structural continuity, stratigraphic and reservoir variability, the seismic wavelet, and noise of various kinds. Seismic interpretation is the thoughtful procedure of separating them. The first two are desirable geologic information; the second two are to be recognized and excluded.

            Several new sections, figures and text updates have also been added to continue the value of this book into the future. But the major additions are chapters or subchapters on Inversion, Visualization, and Spectral Decomposition. Rebecca Latimer in Inversion and Interpretation of Impedance Data compares the different methods of inversion and tells us which to use in different situations. David Roberts in Visualization and Visual Integration demonstrates some amazing insights possible with modern methods. Greg Partyka helps the interpreter understand Spectral Decomposition and shows how to get additional interpretive leverage out of a narrow frequency band. I really appreciate the efforts of these authors and also many other people who have had impact on the content of this book. I appreciate the discussions with my clients, with course participants and with industry friends. They have all helped my understanding of the subject which I now pass on to you, so that you get more geological information out of your seismic data.

We now include a digital version of the book on disk, and we hope that this innovation is useful. On the disk you will also find several movies and animations. These emphasize the value of motion for visualization, and also add support to other messages throughout the book.