Unit Course book

Seismic Interpretation

Unit Coordinator

Nematullah Ghaderinejad

Petroleum Geosciences


Faculty of Science

Department of Petroleum Geosciences

Stage 2

Soran University


Welcome to the Department of Petroleum Geosciences at Soran University. This handbook summarise all the general information you need to guide you during the second stage of your selected course. This booklet also describes in details the content of Seismic Interpretation course, the names of academic staff who will teach the unit, and what you will be expected to do to make sure your success in this unit. We hope you enjoy the unit and that  you will find the work inspiring and  challenging.  Keep in mind that good attendance at  lectures  and  tutorials  is important  to  give  you  a  good  basis  for work throughout  the  course.  If  any  students  may  experience  difficulty  with  this  unit,  is important  to  sort  things  out  as  soon  as  possible.  Make  an  appointment  with  unit coordinator  who may be able to  help,  your  year tutor,  or other academic staff that involved with this unit.

Please note: you are provided with a hardcopy of teaching materials. It may be necessary to change the order of lectures, deadlines etc, which you will be informed. Therefore, it is ESSENTIAL that you check the Department of Petroleum Geosciences

notice board regularly in order to keep up to date with any changes.

Seismic interpretation has made great inroads into the field exploration over the last thirty years, and in many respects technology has advanced faster than developments in interpretaion techniques. An understanding of Seismic interpretation  is essential to many aspects of Petroleum Geosciences. From modest beginnings, seismic reflection is now an indispensable exploration technique. Seismic interpretation is aimed specially at those new to interpretation, who, when confronted with a pile of fresh seismic sections, wonder where to start the interpretation, what to pick, how to recognize multiples, and so forth.

Education Aims:

Provide an introduction to Seismic interpretation in Petroleum Geosciences.

An understanding of Seismic interpretation is essential to many aspects of this course.

Learning Outcomes:

An appreciation of the way in which Seismic interpretation relates to other aspects of Petroleum Geosciences and the Earth sciences

Understand theoretical concepts in reflection method, seismic data  processing and Geologic Interpretation to preparing them for Introduction to Seismic section interpretation.

Undertake practical work using kingdom suite software and matlab programming software

Giving  good  ability  to  students  to  doing  specific  problems  or  determining subsurface structures.

Manage  and  manipulate  numerical  data  from  laboratory  work  and  work productively with others in group laboratory experiments


Communications with Academic Staff

This handbook gives information on how to contact and communicate with staff.

We provide room numbers and email addresses of staff to you. The staffs in this department want to help you as much as possible so that you will be successful in your programme. We also want to encourage you to take responsibility for yourselves and for your learning so it will help you in your future careers.

The email rules

Write your email in acceptable English.

In your emails you must include: full name, stage, department and the unit title.

We only respond to queries from students using genuine/Soran University email accounts.

Appointments can be arranged through the email system, if you wish.

We respond to genuine problems and queries as soon as possible, normally within

7 days.

We will not respond to emails which do not have a subject line.

Staff associated with the unit:


Room Number


Nematullah Ghaderi


Dep. Of Petroleum



Soran University

Department of Petroleum Geosciences

Unit: Seismic Interpretation

Credit 3

Method of Assessment:

1 x 2 h lectures and 1 x3h laboratory sessions per week.

Examination and grading

Theory (70% of total course marks)

The average of 4 written examinations will stand for 25% of the total course marks.

A Final examination will stand for the remaining 45% of total course marks.

Practical (30% of total course marks)

The average of 3 written examinations (two each semester) will stand for 10% of the total course marks.

A final examination will stand for 15% of the total course marks.

The average grade of several practical reports will account for 5% of the total course marks. Each group of 3-4 students has to submit a report about the laboratory work. The reports  have  to  be  approved  by  the  lecturers  in  order  for  the  group  to  be  granted admission for the final examination.

Marking System

The grades for each piece of assessed work are as follows:

90-100 %  is excellent

80-89% is very good

70-79% is good

60-69% is a moderate pass

50-59% is a pass

<49% is a fail


Unit Timetable/Content



Week beginning

Lecture Title & Content



Chapter 1: Reflection Field Methods

1.1 Basic Considerations

1.2 Field Operations for Land Surveys

1.3 Field Layout: 1.3.1 Spread types, 1.3.2 Common-midpoint method,

1.3.3 Uniform linear array, 1.3.4 Selection of field parameters



1.4 Field Equipment for Land Survey

1.5 Marine Methods: 1.5.1 Conventional marine operations,

1.5.2 Profiling methods, 1.5.3 Data reduction, 1.5.4 Field processing,

1.5.5 Elevation and weathering corrections, 1.5.6 Picking reflections and preparing cross-sections



Chapter 2: Seismic Data Processing

Introduction to Digital Processing:

2.1 Transform: 2.1.1 Integral transforms, 2.1.2 Fourier transforms,

2.1.3 Implementation of transforms

2.2 Convolution: 2.2.1 The convolution operation, 2.2.2 Sampling, interpolating and aliasing, 2.2.3 Water reverberation and deconvolution,

2.2.4 Multidimensional convolution

2.3 Correlation: 2.3.1 Crosscorrelation and Autocorrelation,

2.3.2 Frequency Filtering, 2.3.3 Deconvolution and frequency filtering,  2.3.4 Deghosting and recursive



Examination 1



2.4 Velocity Analysis and Static Correction:

2.4.1 Conventional velocity analysis, 2.4.2 The velocity spectrum, 2.4.3

Horizon velocity analysis, 2.4.4 Coherency attribute stacks, 2.4.5

Stacking, 2.4.6 DMO (dip-moveout) Correction, 2.4.7 Common- midpoint stacking, 2.4.8 Apparent velocity(Apparent dip) filtering

2.5 Migration: 2.5.1 Kirchhoff Migration, 2.5.2 Depth migration, 2.5.3

Relative merits of different migration methods, 2.5.4 Resolution of migrated sections

2.6 Data-processing  procedures



Chapter 3: Geologic Interpretation of Reflection Data

3.1 Types of traps

3.2 Interpretation Procedures: 3.2.1 Fundamental geophysical

assumptions 3.2.2 Picking reflections, 3.2.3 Drawing conclusion from reflection data

3.3 Evidences of geologic features

3.3.1 Faulting, 3.3.2 Folded, Reef and Flow structures, 3.3.3 Stratigraphic





3.4 Modeling: 3.4.1 Time-to-Depth Conversion,

3.4.3 Reflection travel time tomography, 3.4.4 Stacking Velocity


3.5 Lateral Variations in Velocity:

3.5.1 Gradual changes 3.5.2 Sudden changes

3.6 Interpretation:

3.6.1 Tying well and seismic data

3.6.2 Common interpretation problem



Revision Week



Examination 2

Note that, Tutorials will be arranged by your lecturer during the class.

Presence at all of these practicals is compulsory. Lack of attendance at any of these sessions will obtain a mark of 0%. All of these practicals will be assessed and will contribute to the total mark of the unit. Students will be given assessment details for each of the practicals during the practical session.

Tutorials & Assessments

Attendance at tutorials & Assessments is necessary in order to gain marks for the given exercise.

Course of Action

1.   There are penalties for late submission of coursework.

2.   There are penalties for plagiarism and collusion.


Keeping a wall diary is recommended to enter all deadline dates so you can see what assignments are due in. It is also essential to leave yourself sufficient time to complete the work.


Recommended Reading

Boggs S. Jr, 2006; Principles of Sedimentology and Stratigraphy.4th Edition.

Boggs S. Jr, 2009; Petrology of Sedimentary Rocks: 2nd Edition. Cambridge

University Press, New York.

Folk, R, L., 1974, Petrology of sedimentary rocks: Hemphill publishing co., Austian, Texas, 182p.

Selley R.C 1998; Applied Sedimentology .