Seismic migration is the process by which seismic events are geometrically re-located in either space or time to the location the event occurred in the subsurface rather than the location that it was recorded at the surface, thereby creating a more accurate image of the subsurface. This process is necessary to overcome the limitations of geophysical methods imposed by areas of complex geology, such as: faults, salt bodies, folding, etc.
Migration moves dipping reflectors to their true subsurface positions and collapses diffractions, resulting in a migrated image that typically has an increased spatial resolution and resolves areas of complex geology much better than non-migrated images. A form of migration is one of the standard data processing techniques for reflection-based geophysical methods (seismic reflection and ground-penetrating radar)
The need for migration has been understood since the beginnings of seismic exploration and the very first seismic reflection data from 1921 were migrated. Computational migration algorithms have been around for many years but they have only entered wide usage in the past 20 years because they are extremely resource-intensive. Migration can lead to a dramatic uplift in image quality so algorithms are the subject of intense research, both within the geophysical industry as well as academic circles.
Famous quotes containing the word seismic:
“Most near, most dear, most loved and most far,
Under the window where I often found her
Sitting as huge as Asia, seismic with laughter,”
—George Barker (b. 1913)