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Practical Seismic Data Analysis

uytThis book is confined very strictly to the processing aspects of the seismic method; neither acquisition nor the conventional interpretation of seismic reflection data in terms of structure and stratigraphy are considered (although a chapter is devoted to seismic modelling, for both controlled-source and earthquake data).

Following an introduction to the subject as a whole, there are chapters on the preliminary analysis of seismic data, discrete spectral analysis, seismic resolution and fidelity, digital filters, deconvolution, seismic migration, velocity analysis, data fitting and model inversion. A final chapter deals with special topics, amongst which are the suppression of multiples, ways of dealing with seismic anisotropy, multi-component processing and processing for seismic attributes. Curiously, it is only here that any attention is paid to the nature and characteristics of seismic sources. This is a major omission, since real seismic processing has to cope with signals that are often unknown and which in any case change in frequency content, and therefore shape, as they travel through the ground.

The results of seismic processing are essentially pictorial, and no book on the subject can succeed without good illustrations. This book certainly satisfies that criterion and, although most figures are monochrome, there is a special section in which colour is used where colour is needed.

Seismic processing is not an easy subject to master, and authors need to be gentle with their readers. A feature of this book is the use of ‘Boxes’ covering specialised topics that can be by-passed at first reading. These certainly help to make the text more digestible, and more use could have been made of them.

The foreword indicates that the book is aimed at upper undergraduate and graduate students, and this target audience would presumably be expected to work through it systematically. For other potential users, already in the business and needing a reference volume to which they can turn when required, there is an important flaw in the shape of a very inadequate index. This is all the more frustrating because there are no fewer than fourteen blank pages after the text has ended. It has not been lack of space that has led to the truncation. Frustratingly also, according to the website the answers to the plentiful exercises will be revealed only to instructors adopting the textbook for their class. This is totally unfair to other purchasers and would, in fact, be enough to put me off buying the book.

The foreword also states that the book is designed to accompany a one-semester course. That would be a pretty challenging half-year.

HUA-WEI ZHOU. Published by Cambridge University Press: 2014  ISBN 978-0-521-19910-0 481pp
List price £45