Lunchbox Geophysics

Time, depth, rays, waves, and the separation of up and down

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Robert J. Ferguson

Monday, June 2nd, 2008 – 12:00 PM
Aquitaine Auditorium, +15 level of 540 - 5 Avenue SW

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LunchBox Geophysics is free! Simply bring your own lunch (refreshments provided) and enjoy.


Discovery and stewardship of the worlds hydrocarbon-producing sedimentary basins is made possible using maps of the subsurface. Reflection seismology is used to create these maps. Continual advancement of reflection seismology is required to cope with extreme heterogeneity and anisotropy found in the new frontiers of hydrocarbon discovery.

In this presentation, I will revisit reflection seismology to demonstrate how current technology breaks down in complex geologic settings. I will then examine two competing alternatives, and I will discuss the merits of each. Of these two technologies, I will present examples of significant advances that are based on what I will call wave 1 methods (one-way wave equation methods). I will discuss topics of recording aperture regularization and data correction in extreme terrains, subsalt imaging, anisotropy estimation, and imaging of extremely steep structures.


Dr. Robert J. Ferguson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Calgary and an Associate Director of CREWES (Consortium for Research in Elastic Wave Exploration Seismology.

Upon graduation from UBC with his B.Sc., Rob began his career in geophysics as an air gun mechanic on exploration ships in the Beaufort Sea, and then as a seismic data processor. Following graduate school at the University of Calgary under the supervision of Dr. Robert R. Stewart and then Dr. Gary F. Margrave, Rob worked as a Lead Research Scientist with Chevron in San Ramon California in the Seismic Imaging Team.

After a couple of years, Rob was lured to the University of Texas, Austin with an Assistant Professorship in exploration geophysics. At UT, Rob continued his research in seismic imaging and inversion. Following his promotion to Associate Professor with tenure, Rob left Texas to return to Calgary and join the U of C and CREWES. Rob's current interests are in one-way operator based imaging, modelling, and inversion of multi-component seismic data.