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3D seismic survey design optimization

Gijs J.O. Vermeer, 3DSymSam Geophysical Advice, Netherlands

Summary convenient combination of 6 variables is formed by receiver

spacing, shot spacing, receiver line interval, shot line
The parameter choice in seismic survey design has to satisfy interval, maximum inline offset, and maximum crossline
geophysical, operational and cost constraints. In this paper offset. To generate a geometry with regular fold, the line
two published optimization methods are reviewed and spacings have to be multiples of the shot and receiver station
modified. The first method finds a solution based on spacings, and the maximum offsets have to be multiples of
geophysical constraints only, whereas the second method the line spacings (Vermeer, 2001).
also includes operational and cost constraints. An
acquisition design wizard finds suitable geophysical Following MKB, I take the station spacings as given values.
constraints for both methods. Given the uncertainties which This leaves only four integers to be determined for a
always exist in the design specifications, many different description of the geometry: number of shots between
designs may be close to optimal in any situation. adjacent receiver lines, number of receivers between
adjacent shot lines, inline fold, and crossline fold. The
Introduction objective is to establish these parameters while satisfying the
geophysical requirements and, explicitly in the MKB
In 3D seismic survey design the parameter choice has to method, while also minimizing the acquisition and
satisfy a wide variety of geophysical, operational and cost processing cost.
constraints. Vermeer (2001) provides detailed guidelines to
arrive at an optimal survey design but does not explain how The simplest choice of geophysical requirements consists of
to deal with conflicting requirements. Liner et al. (1999) required fold, maximum offset, and maximum minimum
describe an optimization method based on geophysical offset (the largest minimum offset occurring in any bin and
requirements. Morrice et al. (2001) describe an optimization equal to diagonal of unit cell, Figure 1). These three
method that is based on operational costs while also requirements do not yet uniquely define a geometry. In the
satisfying geophysical requirements. Their cost function is implementation of the optimization methods used in this
minimized using Microsoft Excel's Solver program. paper, I choose to add aspect ratio (of the geometry) and
aspect ratio of line spacings. For the least irregular fold
Morrice, Kenyon and Beckett (2001, MKB) present a distribution at shallow levels the latter aspect ratio should be
detailed description of their method. This makes their work close to one. To satisfy fold requirements at different target
quite amenable to modifications. Interestingly, the Excel levels, I also introduce desired fold for shallow and deep
Solver is also quite suitable to solve the optimization targets.
problem formulated by Liner, Underwood and Gobeli (1999,
LUG). The same spreadsheet with a different cost function The LUG and MKB methods
is used to compare the LUG method with the MKB method.
Figure 2 is a modification of the Excel spreadsheet given in
The MKB method as well as the LUG method require the the MKB paper. The main elements of the acquisition model
user to give his requirements for station spacings, maximum are described by the bold-faced text in column A of Figure
offset, and maximum minimum offset. An acquisition 2. The elements are
design wizard has been developed which provides
recommendations for these parameters based on resolution unit cell
requirements, the mute function, and on required fold for receiver line spacing
shallow and deep targets. An example based on the problem
discussed in Hornman et al. (2000) is used to illustrate the shots of template
combined use of wizard, MKB and LUG methods. maximum crossline
Problem description receivers of template
The problem to be tackled is the optimal selection of the midpoint coverage
parameters of an orthogonal geometry assuming a one-line template
crossline roll of the template (see Figure 1). shot line spacing
maximum inline offset
A regular orthogonal geometry is fully determined by only
six variables (Liner et al. , 1999; Vermeer, 2001). A Fig. 1. Regular orthogonal geometry with template.
3D seismic survey design optimization

1 Problem Data, all costs in $US (all distances are in m):
2 Permitting costs per square km 5000 LUG 5000 5000
3 Surveying cost per source point 45 45 45
4 Surveying cost per receiver point 45 45 45
5 Cutting and clearing cost per km for source line 55 55 55
6 Cutting and clearing cost per km for receiver line 55 55 55
7 Drilling cost per source location 100 100 100
8 Average daily cost of the crew 10000 10000 10000
9 Equipment cost per receiver channel per day 3 3 3
10 Inflation factor for total number of receiver channels 0.5 0.5 0.5
11 Processing costs per trace 0.01 0.01 0.01
12 Maximum number of shots per day 160 160 160
13 Maximum number of receiver channels moved per day 300
14 Maximum number of receiver channels available 2000 2000 2000
15 Receiver spacing 50 50 50
16 Shot spacing 50 50 50
17 Required maximum minimum offset 600 1 600 0 600 0
18 Largest acceptable aspect ratio 2.0 1 2.0 1 2.0 1
19 Maximum aspect ratio line spacings 2.0 1 2.0 1 2.0 1
20 Desired fold at shallow target 10 1 10 1.1 10 1.1
21 Mute offset at shallow target 1250 1250 1250
22 Desired fold at deep target 30 1 30 1 30 1
23 Mute offset at deep target 2800 2800 2800
25 Decision Variables:
26 Number of receiver locations between adjacent shot lines 2 7 10
27 Number of shot locations between adjacent receiver lines 2 8 6
28 Inline fold 2 6 4
29 Crossline fold 2 5 7
30 Number of shots per day 1 160 160
32 Dependent variables:
33 Shot line spacing =B26*B15 350 500
34 Receiver line spacing =B27*B16 400 300
35 Maximum inline offset =B28*B26*B15 2100 2000
36 Maximum crossline offset =B29*B27*B16 2000 2100
37 Maximum offset =SQRT(B35^2+B36^2) 2900 2900
=SQRT(B33^2*(B28-1)^2 +
38 Minimum maximum offset 2371 2343
39 Maximum minimum offset =SQRT(B33^2+B34^2) 532 583
40 Fold at shallow target = Fold(B21,B35,B36,B28,B29) 8.8 8.2
41 Fold at deep target = Fold(B23,B35,B36,B28,B29) 29.9 27.9
42 Aspect ratio =MAX(B35/B36,B36/B35) 1.05 1.05
43 Aspect ratio line spacings =MAX(B33/B34,B34/B33) 1.14 1.67
44 Number of active receiver lines =2*B29 10 14
45 Number of active receiver channels per active receiver line =2*B26*B28 84 80
46 Number of active receiver channels =B44*B45 840 1120
47 Number of receiver channels moved per day =B30*B26/B27 140.00 266.67
48 Number of shots per square kilometer =10^6/(B15*B16*B26) 57.14 40.00
49 Square km completed per day: =B30/B48 2.8 4
51 LUG Objective Function see equation (2) 0.040 0.488
52 MKB Objective Function in $US Cost/km2 see equation (3) 21232 (20071) 18301
54 Constraints: LHS RHS LHS RHS LHS RHS
55 Maximum minimum offset =(B39-B17)/B17 0.15 -0.114 0.15 -0.028 0.15
56 Maximum offset =ABS((B37-B23)/B23) 0.15 0.036 0.15 0.036 0.15
57 Fold at shallow target =ABS((B40-B20)/B20) 0.2 0.123 0.2 0.182 0.2
58 Fold at deep target =ABS((B41-B22)/B22) 0.1 0.002 0.1 0.019 0.1
59 Aspect ratio =B42 =B18 1.05 2.0 1.39 2.0
60 Aspect ratio line spacings =B43 =B19 1.14 2.0 1.67 2.0
61 Maximum number of receiver channels =B46*(1+B10) =B14 1260 2000 1800 2000
62 Maximum number of shots per day =B30 =B12 160 160 160 160
63 Maximum number of receiver channels moved per day =B47 =B13 140.00 300 266.67 300
Fig. 2. Problem description on basis of Excel worksheet. See main text for detailed explanation.
3D seismic survey design optimization

Problem data: input parameters describing cost elements The MKB method is aimed at minimizing the dollar cost of
and geophysical requirements, the survey while satisfying geophysical requirements and
Decision variables: variables to be chosen so as to operational constraints. The objective function consists of
minimize cost, cost elements only. The cost elements identified in MKB are
Dependent variables: variables determined by the not changed in this paper. For a complete description of
decision variables, these cost elements see the MKB paper. The function is
Objective function: cost function to be minimized,.
Constraints: variables that have to satisfy geophysical or MKB cost = B2 + 10^6*(B3+B7)/(B16*B33) +
operational constraints 10^6*B4/(B15*B34) + 10^3*B5/B33+10^3*B6/B34 +
(B8+B9*(4*B26*B28*B29*(1+B10)))*(B48/B30) +
All variables in the model formulation are described in 10^6*(B11*B28*B29*4/(B15*B16)) (3)
column A. The input values used in the cost computations of
the MKB method are given in B2:B14, whereas the values In addition to the four decision variables used in the LUG
of the geophysical constraints used in both methods are method, the MKB method includes "number of shots per
given in B15:B23. Initial values of the decision variables are day", B30, as an extra decision variable. It is limited by the
listed in B26:B30. B33:B49 give the formulas for the maximum number of shots per day B12, and by the
dependent variables. The fold functions B40 and B41 are maximum number of receivers moved per day B13. The
computed from number of receivers moved per day is computed in B47. In
my formulation the number of shots per day and the number
of receivers moved per day are not constrained to be integer,
area of cross - spread not muted (1)
Fold = total fold because these parameters represent some average value.
area of cross - spread
Some of the other differences between my formulation of
The objective function is minimized by the Excel Solver the MKB method and the original one are: 1) only
while some constraints have to be satisfied. The left hand independent variables have been included in the list of
side and the right hand side of the inequalities describing the decision variables, reducing the number from 13 to 5. The
constraints are listed in B55:B63 and C55:C63, respectively. number of constraints has been reduced from 16 to 9. The
The left hand sides should not be larger than the right hand new formulation gives a clearer indication of the scope one
sides as shown in the two insets in Figure 2. The same has in varying parameters and it makes life easier on the
constraints are used in both LUG and MKB methods so that Solver in Excel (fewer iterations needed), 2) Fold as the
differences in solutions are a result of the different cost product of two integers will now always be integer, 3) In
functions. equation (3) actual fold is used instead of required fold, 4)
As target values such as fold have some margin of
The objective function I have chosen for the LUG method is uncertainty, positive and negative deviations from the target
value are allowed where appropriate.
LUG cost = C17 * (1 B39/B17)^2 +
C18 * (1 B42)^2 + Example and comparison
C19 * (1 B43)^2 +
C20 * (1 B40/B20)^2 + Figure 2 shows the MKB and the LUG solution to a survey
C22 * (1 B41/B22)^2 (2) design optimization problem. The initial values of the
problem data are adapted from the MKB original and are
where C17:C22 represent weights. So, the five target shown in the range B2:B23, although the LUG method only
attributes are maximum minimum offset, aspect ratio, aspect uses B15:B23. The LUG solution is shown under the
ratio of line spacings, and fold at shallow and deep targets. heading LUG. The solution for the decision variables is
listed in rows 26 to 29: (7, 8, 6, 5). The corresponding cost
The original LUG method had six decision parameters, value is 0.040. With the maximum number of shots of 160
including inline and crossline binsize, and number of that can be handled in a day, the corresponding number of
receivers in each receiver line. This led to millions of moved receivers is 140. The corresponding MKB cost
possible geometries, making it difficult to find the geometry function gives $US 21232 per km2 to acquire the LUG
with smallest cost. The identification of the four integers solution with the MKB cost model.
(B26:B29) has made the problem quite a bit easier to solve.
My solution also removes some glitches in the computation Interchanging shot and receiver positions [i.e., changing
of maximum offset and maximum minimum offset which decision variables into (8, 7, 5, 6)] leads to the same data
invalidated the solutions of the optimization example in the and the same LUG cost of 0.040. However, the operational
LUG paper. cost would now be $US 20071 per km2.
3D seismic survey design optimization

The MKB solution is given under the header MKB in Figure The mute offsets used in this example are based on a
2. The cost per day is reduced to $US 18301, but the LUG maximum NMO stretch factor of 1.15. Using tighter or
cost is increased to 0.488. This solution involves fewer shots looser stretch control would lead to yet other solutions.
per km2 reducing the drilling cost, whereas the aspect ratio
of the line spacings has deteriorated. This solution is Conclusions
different than the one found in the MKB paper, mainly
because a smaller fold is accepted. Selecting tighter Selecting acceptable parameters for 3D seismic surveys may
geophysical constraints in MKB could have led to the benefit from the combined use of the MKB method and the
"alternative" LUG solution with cost $US 20071. LUG method. Both methods have been improved in this
paper. A very nice aspect of the Excel spreadsheet is that it
Wizard, MKB and LUG allows playing around with input parameters and constraints
giving a good feel for the interrelationships of the various
The acquisition design problem tackled by five designers at parameters (get a free copy of the Excel file from
the 1999 EAGE Workshop (Hornman et al., 2000) involved Working with the spreadsheet also
targets at 2000, 2500 and 3000 m depth. A prototype version shows the sensitivity of survey design on the user's choice of
of an acquisition design wizard developed by TNO-NITG in constraints and target values. Given the uncertainties which
The Netherlands based on symmetric sampling ideas always exist in the design specifications, many different
(Vermeer, 2001) was used to tackle the same problem. designs may be close to optimal in any situation.
Honoring resolution requirements, it recommended to use 40
m station spacings. Based on a judgment of the quality of A disadvantage of the current MKB method is that it only
the available seismic data the required folds at the target allows costing of the nominal geometry, whereas the same
levels were set at 40, 50 and 60. A representative velocity geometry may be acquired in the field with widely different
function was used to derive the mute function which techniques, each having its own cost picture.
determines available offsets at the various target levels.
The acquisition design wizard is a practical tool to derive
The wizard comes up with a recommended design that can suitable geophysical parameters from an analysis of the
be modified by the user. Design 1 in Table 1 is the wizard's geophysical problem. These parameters can be used as input
solution. It selects maximum inline and crossline offsets to parameters of the MKB and LUG methods. Eventually all
approximate the mute offset at the deepest target. This is methods should be combined into one program.
recommended for analysis of azimuth-dependent effects, but
constitutes overdesign for less ambitious objectives. The References
other three designs try to fit maximum offset of the
geometry to the mute offset at deepest target, hence lead to Hornman, K., Vermeer, G., Lansley, M., Musser, J.A.,
smaller maximum offsets and lower fold. Galbraith, M., Meunier, J., Gillot, E., Monk, M., and Yates,
M., 2000, 3D seismic survey design: First Break, 18, 161-
Table 1. Four solutions EAGE design problem 185.
1 2 3 4
Station spacing 40 40 40 40 Liner, C.L., Underwood, W.D., and Gobeli, R., 1999, 3-D
Source line spacing 320 320 400 400 seismic survey design as an optimization problem: The
Receiver line spacing 320 320 280 280 Leading Edge, 18, 1054-1060.
Max inline offset 3200 2560 2400 2400
Max crossline offset 3200 2560 2520 2800 Morrice, D.J., Kenyon, A.S., and Beckett, C.J., 2001,
Fold shallow target 39.8 39.8 36.4 36.4 Optimizing operations in 3-D land seismic surveys:
Fold deep target 88.2 63.8 54.0 59.6 Geophysics, 66, 1818-1826.
Calculated fold 100 64 54 60
MKB cost 34602 31170 27467 28039 Vermeer, G.J.O., 2001, Fundamentals of 3-D seismic survey
LUG cost 0.281 0.065 0.239 0.254 design: PhD thesis Delft University of Technology,
3DSymSam Geophysical Advice.
Designs 2-4 are solutions with input parameters B14:B23 in
Figure 2 set at (4000, 40, 40, 600, 2, 1.5, 40, 2277, 60, and
3492). Design 2 is the LUG solution, and design 3 is the
Pascal Winthaegen and Wilfred Visser of TNO-NITG for
MKB solution with values for cost elements as in Figure 2.
their implementation of the acquisition design wizard. Kees
Design 4 is an MKB solution with tighter control on fold. It
Hornman and Pascal Winthaegen for their constructive
may be a good compromise between cost and geophysical