A Sharper Look into the Subsurface: High-resolution Tomography

Emerson's Gali Dekel


Author: Gali Dekel, GeoDepth and EarthStudy 360 Product Manager

3D seismic datasets are growing in size, as seismic surveys are covering larger areas than ever before. In addition, companies are merging legacy and new datasets into single mega-datasets. These trends pose challenges in terms of both performance and memory requirements, as updating the subsurface model increasingly requires more powerful memory handling and storage capabilities.

In addition to the above challenges, the size of the datasets makes it difficult to perform high-resolution calculation, thus preventing tomographic solutions from realizing their full potential.

In actual fact, high modeling and imaging quality translates into the ability to detect smaller-scale geological features, discontinuities and unconformities. Thus, model updates should be performed on the highest resolution grid possible (limited only by the data wavelength).

To address these challenges, Emerson’s integrated Paradigm 18™ exploration and production suite introduces a high-resolution tomography solution that uses a sophisticated representation of the tomography matrix to help geoscientists handle huge datasets and derive models of very large size and high complexity.

The result is velocity models that provide a highly accurate representation of the subsurface. These high-resolution models reduce uncertainty and open the door to exciting future capabilities, such as properly handling the complex shallow parts of the model, which have traditionally been the most challenging region in the depth model.


Standard tomography (left) vs. high-resolution tomography (right) results for a modeled shallow (600m) velocity anomaly of 10% (top view). Standard tomography gives a 6% correction while the high-resolution tomography gives an 11% correction of the anomaly.

Gali Dekel is the Emerson E&P Software Product Manager for GeoDepth and EarthStudy 360. She has worked for six years as a scientific developer and researcher in the company’s Processing & Imaging division. Gali holds a PhD in Physics from Tel-Aviv University.

From Jim: Visit the Oil & Gas section on Emerson.com for more on exploration and production technologies and solutions. You can also connect and interact with other oil & gas industry experts in the Oil & Gas group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

Update: Text and photos in post have been updated per feedback from Gali.

Posted Thursday, October 25th, 2018 under Oil & Gas.