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Why survey design ?

As oil companies strive for efficiency and seek to acquire

higher-quality and more cost-effective seismic surveys,
greater emphasis is being placed on the design process

An efficient design is usually a compromisebetween

information that is expected to be retrieved and the cost of
data acquisition and processing.

As new acquisition systems and techniques appear, they

alter the limitations placed on survey designers.
Ex : increasing numbers of channels
Survey Design

Designing parameters for 2-D / 3-D data acquisition

A good survey design achieves geophysical

objectives in a cost-effective manner, within the
given time schedule.
Factors controlling survey design
(cannot be constrained by people)

1. Target depth and size

2. Shallowest depth of interest
3. Dip
4. Noise
5. Dominant frequency
Geophysical Problem
Redefining geological problem that can be related to
field measurements

Bed thickness
Target depth
Max dip to be resolved
Target depth
Vertical resolution
dip to be resolved
Horizontal resolution
Horizontal resolution

In order for us to see our stratigraphic

trap on our seismic section, the
dimensions (width and thickness) of
the trap must exceed the limitations of
both the reflection method and the
acquisition and processing parameters
we are using.
Resolution (continued)
Lateral Resolution
Fresnel Zone - the portion of a reflector
from which reflected energy can reach
a detector within one-half wavelength
of the first reflected energy.
Each reflection is a summation of
responses within a circular area with
the centre of the circle being the
"understood" point reflector.
Resolution (continued)
Mathematically, we can
approximate the radius, r,
of the Fresnel zone as
2 f dom

VRMS= the rms velocity to
the reflecting surface,
T0 = the two-way
traveltime, and
f dom= the dominant
frequency of the seismic
Resolution (cont.)

Vertical Resolution :
It is a function of the thickness of the
subject layer, the frequency of the source
wavelet as it propagates through the layer,
and the velocity of the layer

4 f max cos i
Shooting Direction :

The most preferred direction is the dip


Cost: Longer lines are more


Logistic considerations e.g. population

area, unsuitable terrain, shallow water,
Basic Parameters for 2D Seismic
Source Parameters :
Source Effort
Source Type
Source Interval
Receiver Parameters :
Number of Channels
Number of Receivers per Station
Receiver Interval
Data Parameters :
Nominal Fold
CMP Interval
Min Offset
Max Offset
Basic Parameters For 3D Seismic
Source Parameters :
Source Point Interval
Source Line Interval
Source Points per Swath
Source Density per sq. km
Source Line Direction
Receiver Parameters :
Number of Channels
Receiver Line
Receiver Interval
Receiver Line Interval
Receiver Density per sq. km
Basic Parameters For 3D Seismic Survey
Other Parameters :
Patch Length
Patch Width
Inline Fold Taper
Cross Line Fold Taper
Roll inline
Roll Cross-line
Source Line Bearing (azimuth)
Receiver Line Bearing (azimuth)
Basic Parameters For 3D Seismic Survey

Geophysical Attributes :
Bin Size
Inline Fold
Cross-line Fold
Nominal Fold
Minimum Offset
Largest Minimum Offset
Inline Maximum Offset
Cross-line Maximum Offset
Maximum Offset

inline: direction parallel receiver lines

crossline: direction orthogonal receiver lines
CMP bin: a small rectangle all the traces of which
are stacked and contribute to fold
box (unit cell): area bounded by two adjacent
receiver lines and two adjacent source lines
patch (template): area of all live receivers
recording from the same source
swath: length over which sources are recorded
without crossline roll


Controlling Factors

Factors controlling 3-D survey design

(cannot be constrained by people)

1. Target depth and size constrained by geology

2. Shallowest depth of interest
3. Dip
4. Noise constrained by equipment
5. Dominant frequency
Survey Parameters
Parameters of 3-D survey design
(can be constrained by people)

1. Migration aperture (apron)

2. Fold
3. Fold taper
4. Xmin
5. Xmax
6. Bin size
7. Record length
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Migration aperture (apron) is affected by:
1. Fresnel zone:
- defined as the portion of a reflector from which
reflected energy can reach a detector within one-half
wavelength from the first reflected energy.
- Radius of first Fresnel zone:

Vrms T0
2 f dom

VRMS: RMS velocity to reflector

T0: zero-offset TWTT to reflector
fd: dominant frequency at reflector
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Migration aperture (apron)
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Migration aperture (cont.):
1. Fresnel zone (cont.):
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Migration aperture (cont.):
2. Diffracted energy:
- Scattering angles of 300 contain 95% of
the diffracted energy. Therefore,
migration aperture should be XDE:

X DE Z tan 300 0.58Z

Z: target depth
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Migration aperture (cont.):
2. Diffracted energy (cont.):
300 scattering
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Migration aperture (cont.):
3. Migration lateral displacement:
- Migrating a point on a dipping reflector
moves the point in the updip direction a lateral
distance DX:
DX Z tan
Z: target depth
: reflector true dip
Rule: choose the migration aperture as the
largest of RF, XDE, and DX.
Survey Parameters (cont.)
It is the number of traces in a CMP bin.
Stacking M traces enhances the S/N by an amount of M1/2.
Inline fold :
NumberOf Re ceivers*RI



X-line fold :
SourceLine Length CrosslineP atchDimension

2 * Re ceiverLineInterval 2 * RLI

Re ceiverLines * RLI NRL

2 * RLI 2
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Total Fold :

Total fold = inline fold * cross-line fold

Survey Parameters (cont.)
Inline fold (FI) = (NSL - 1) / 2.
Crossline fold (FX) = (NRL 1) / 2.
Total fold (F) = FI * FX = (NSL -1) * (NRL 1) /
NSL: number of source lines in the patch
NRL: number of receiver lines in the patch

Rule: choose the 3-D total fold to be

greater than half the nominal 2-D fold.
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Fold taper:
It is the area around the edges of the full-fold
area where the fold builds-up from minimum to
InlinePatchSize SLI
Inline fold taper (FTI)
4 2

Crossline fold taper (FTX) CrosslineP atchSize RLI

4 2

Rule: choose the fold taper to be

of patch dimension.
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Fold taper (cont.):
- Relation between migration aperture and fold
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Fold taper (cont.):
- Relation among areas covered by
acquisition, processing, and interpretation
Survey Parameters (cont.)
- The largest minimum offset in a survey.
- It is the minimum offset that belongs to the
CMP bin at the exact center of a box.
- In an orthogonal survey:
X min ( RLI SLI )
2 2

Rule: choose Xmin to be less than 1 -1.2

of the shallowest depth of interest.
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Xmin (cont.):


Survey Parameters (cont.)
- The maximum recorded offset in a
- It is the length of the diagonal of
the patch in an orthogonal survey:

X max [( NRL 1) * RLI ]2 [( NSL 1) * SLI ]2

Survey Parameters (cont.)
Xmax (cont.):

Survey Parameters (cont.)
Xmax (cont.): It is affected by:
1. Target depth:
Choose Xmax target depth.
2. Direct-wave interference:
Given sufficiently large offset, the direct wave
will interfere with the primary reflection from
the target reflector at an offset Xd given by:

2 2 2 2
V ) ]
Xd m 1 0 RMS 1

2 2
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Xmax (cont.):
2. Direct-wave interference (cont):
VRMS: RMS velocity to target
V1: velocity of near-surface layer
Tm: mute time (~ 0.2 s)
T0: zero-offset TWTT to target

Choose Xmax < Xd.

Survey Parameters (cont.)
Xmax (cont.):
3. Head-wave interference:
The head wave will interfere with the primary
reflection from the target reflector at an offset
Xh given by:

VRMSV2 [TmVRMS T V T (V2 2 2 2

V )]
Xh m 2 0 RMS 2

2 2

V2: velocity of head-wave generating layer

Choose Xmax < Xh.
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Xmax (cont.):
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Xmax (cont.):
4. Deep-horizon head waves:
A deep horizon will have its head wave at an offset
X hd

V: interval velocity of deep horizon

VRMS: RMS velocity to top of deep horizon
T0: zero-offset TWTT to top of deep horizon
We would like to include as much of the reflections of
the deep horizons as possible. Therefore, choose Xmax
>X .
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Xmax (cont.):
5. Maximum allowable NMO stretch:
The stretch introduced by the NMO correction
is given by: 2
S NMO ( X ) 2 2
X mute T0VRMS 2 S NMO
Traces with offsets > Xmute at the target horizon
will be muted.
Choose Xmax < Xmute.
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Xmax (cont.):
6. Head-wave from a deep LVL:
If a deep LVL (low-velocity layer) exists, then its
critical offset XLVL must be taken into account such
that: Xmax > XLVL.
7. NMO discrimination:
To discriminate NMO effects, we need an offset XNMO:



Td: dominant period at target reflector

Xmax > XNMO.
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Xmax (cont.):
8. Multiple cancellation:
In order to cancel multiples, we need an offset

X mult Vmult T 4Td Tmult


Vmult: RMS velocity of multiple

Tmult: zero-offset TWTT of multiple
Choose Xmax > Xmult.
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Xmax (cont.):
9. AVO effects:
If AVO (amplitude variation with offset)
analysis is expected, larger offsets should be
For a maximum incidence angle of 300, the
offset required for AVO analysis XAVO is given
X AVO Target depth
Choose Xmax > XAVO.
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Xmax (cont.):
10.Dip effects
Offset is larger in the downdip direction for a
dipping layer.
Choose Xmax large enough to allow true dip
Offset increase due to dip

S Rh Rd

Survey Parameters (cont.)
Xmax (cont.):

Rule: choose Xmax to satisfy all these 10

Survey Parameters (cont.)
Bin size (B):
Its dimensions are: SI/2 * RI/2.
The most preferable bin shape is square.
The S/N ratio is proportional to bin size.
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Bin size (B):
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Bin size (cont.): It is affected by:
1. Target size:
Normally, three traces are needed across a target in order to
define it on the seismic section.
Choose: Bt target size / 3.
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Bin size (cont.):
2. Maximum unaliased frequency:
For a dipping target, the optimum bin size is given by:

4 f max sin
Vi: interval velocity at target depth
fmax: maximum frequency at target depth
: target dip
Choose: B Bf.
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Bin size (cont.):
3. Lateral resolution:
Choose: min / 4 Br min / 2
min: minimum wavelength at target depth

Rule: choose the bin size as the smallest of Bt,

Bf, and Br.
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Group Interval

1. Traces needed across the smallest geological features

2. Spatial aliasing constraints depends on dip, velocity,
dominant frequency
3. Short enough to sample variations in static corrections
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Source Interval
Stack array approach uses SI = RI
6 sec (record) +2 sec (writing) = 8 sec cycle
Minimum Vessel speed for streamer stability 8 Km/hr
Therefore Minimum SI = 18m
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Record length (TR): It must satisfy the following:
1. It has to include the deepest event of interest (Td) and allow for
- NMO correction (+ 0.3 s)
- DMO correction (+ 0.4 s)
- Migration (+ 0.5 s)
2. It has to allow for maximum static shifts (+ 0.1 s).
3. It has to allow for equipment delays (+ 0.2 s)

Rule: choose TR Td + 1.5 s.

Survey Parameters (cont.)
Input parameters :
Determine the following parameters from exploration objectives and from
existing 2-D seismic data:
Fold of good 2-D data
Steepest dip
Target depth and mute distance
Target two-way time
Vint immediately above the target horizon
fdom at the target horizon
fmax at the target horizon
Lateral target size
Area to be fully imaged
Layout method.
Survey Parameters (cont.)
Calculated parameters
Aspect Ratio
It is defined as:
Crossline patch dimension NRL * RLI
Inline patch dimension NSL * SLI

Narrow-azimuth patches have R < 0.5, while wide-azimuth

patches have R > 0.5.
Narrow-azimuth patches are good for analyzing DMO,
AVO, and lateral heterogeneities.
Wide-azimuth patches are good for velocity analysis, static
correction, and multiple attenuation.
Aspect Ratio (cont.)

Wide-azimuth survey Narrow-azimuth survey

Aspect Ratio (cont.)
The 85% rule:
Xmute defines a circle, while Xmax defines a rectangle.
If we inscribe the Xmute circle inside an Xmax rectangle, we
record 27% more traces than we need.
If we inscribe the Xmax rectangle inside the Xmute circle, we
discard 36% of our recorded data.
The optimum compromise is the 85% rule defined as:
- Choose inline patch dimension = 0.85 * Xmute.
- Choose crossline patch dimension = 0.85 * inline patch dimension.
- Therefore; R = 0.85.
Aspect Ratio (cont.)
The 85% rule (cont.):