Instructor: Leon Thomsen (University of Houston)
Date & Time: May 29th - June 1th, 8am - 4:30pm
Course description: All rock masses are seismically anisotropic, but we generally ignore this in our seismic acquisition, processing, and interpretation. The anisotropy nonetheless does affect our data, in ways that limit the effectiveness with which we can use it, if we ignore it. This course helps us understand why this inconsistency between reality and practice has been so pervasive in the past and why it will be less successful in the future, as we acquire modern seismic data (especially including vector seismic data) and correspondingly higher expectations of it. This course helps us understand how we can modify our practice to more fully realize the potential inherent in our data through algorithms which recognize the fact of seismic anisotropy.
The course offers a two-day introduction to the important ideas of seismic anisotropy, across the entire spectrum of applications, starting with fundamental ideas, and applying these to P-wave subsurface imaging and physical characterization, then to vector waves. It shows how isotropic seismics is just an introduction to a much richer range of phenomena. Although seismic anisotropy is always weak (as measured by elastic constants), it can have surprisingly large effects (more than 100%) in some contexts, and completely new effects in other contexts. Numerous Excel exercises help students understand these ideas through their own hands.