Near-Surface Characterization

Overview Library

Land-based exploration projects frequently have complex near-surface geology because of varying types of overburden, erosion, and water content. This leads to a complex geophysical model with rapid velocity variations in both the horizontal and vertical directions. There is also the complication of coherent, surface-wave noise recorded in the data.

Traditionally, the surface waves in land seismic data have been regarded as coherent noise to be removed. But in some cases, with a complex near-surface or spatial aliasing, their attenuation can be challenging. As part of near surface characterization we have developed the surface wave analysis, modeling, and inversion techniques, which enable us to extract information from the surface waves before removing them from the seismic data.

New workflows for improved near-surface characterization

Our techniques and workflows combine multiple geophysical and geological measurements to improve characterization, providing improved analysis of the near-surface geology, and, ultimately, a better image of the reservoir.


  • Accepts data from multiple sources and collates the interpretations into a single model
  • Model visualization and manipulation is based on the industry-accepted Petrel environment
  • This gives the user access to a rich set of plots including 3D views, enabling detailed analysis and modification of the model
  • Produces a calibrated geological and geophysical model of the near surface


  • Statics estimation for data processing
  • High resolution, near-surface velocity models for prestack depth migration
  • Provides robust techniques for the attenuation of surface wave noise

Surface Wave Analysis Modeling and Inversion (SWAMI)

Near-Surface Modeling Toolkit

SWAMI - Velocity Modeling

Use SWAMI to generate high-resolution, near-surface velocity models with land seismic data.

SWAMI - Highly Aliased Noise Attenuation

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Geological Structures Mapped in Gulf of Suez

Satellite lithology map with fault outcrop calibration (top), refraction structural map showing fault zones (middle), and structural geological map from Rayleigh waves mapping the top of the Wardan Fm conglomerates, fault zones, and structural features (bottom).
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