by Gaynor S. Paton (GeoTeric) and Jonathan Henderson (GeoTeric)
Interpretation of 3D seismic data involves the analysis and integration of many forms and derivatives of the original reflectivity data. This can lead to the generation of an overwhelming amount of data that can be difficult to use effectively when relying on conventional interpretation techniques. Our natural cognitive processes have evolved so that we can absorb and understand large amounts of complex data extremely quickly and effectively. However, these cognitive processes are heavily influenced by context and color perception. Seismic interpretation can benefit greatly through better exploiting the positive aspects of visual cognition and through techniques designed to minimize the pitfalls inherent in the cognitive process. The interpretation of data also requires the ability to combine data analysis with knowledge and expertise that is held by the interpreter. It is this combination of visual perception techniques to see the information, combined with interpreter guidance to understand what is seen, that makes interpretation of seismic data effective. Geological Expression workflows that are data driven and interpreter guided enable us to see and effectively interpret the geology that is present in the seismic data. In effect this gives us a Cognitive Interpretation of the data.
A non geologist is likely to see an image of a rock and a landscape. A geologist is likely to see two examples of faulting. Our knowledge and experience guides how we interpret an image.