training specialists to the upstream oil and gas industry

Seismic Interpretation Fundamentals

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Business context

Seismic interpretation is a critical step in evaluating the subsurface. Interpretation turns large investments in acquisition and processing into valuable assets. A geophysical/geological subsurface model is used for making considered E&P decisions with major investment consequences. Seismic interpretation plays a pivotal role in the Upstream workflow. Consequently it is essential that involved staff are educated in the principles of interpretation and well trained in the execution.


It is assumed participants with an Earth Sciences background have a basic knowledge of seismic fundamentals for Exploration. Furthermore, participants should have an idea of the context and relevance of seismic interpretation in the evaluation of exploration acreage or in Field Development activities.


Lecturer will provide at least one 3D seismic datasets with well data in form of OpenDTect directorie(s).


  • On larger interpretation exercises, participants will work in teams of two – sufficient workstations with dual screens licenses should be available as well as licenses. Teams of three or more are very strongly discouraged from an educational point of view.
  • Computers should have 8Gb RAM as absolute minimum and free disk storage of at least 20Gb.
  • OpenDTect 6.4 should be installed on the workstations.
  • The Office suite (Excel, Word etc) 2013 or later should be present on the workstations.
  • Participants should take care of their own back-up media.

The course is designed for

This course is suitable for geologists, geophysicists and reservoir engineers willing to acquire theoretical and practical know-how on classic seismic interpretation, and to understand what information they can gain from seismic reflection data.


It should be noted that this program is flexible in as much that contents, exercises and lectures can be adapted to attendant’s requirements and abilities and knowledge. Hence the day-to-day program should be considered as schematic, and thus provisional.

Course contents


  • Fundamentals, such as reflection coefficients
  • Calculation of synthetic seismograms - Excel
  • Well to seismic matching – paper
  • Marker transfer to seismic - paper
  • Interpretation of examples from all structural styles - paper
  • Round interpretation of markers – paper and/or OpenDTect
  • Fault interpretation - paper and/or OpenDTect
  • Horizon interpretation by tracking - OpenDtect
  • Generation of time – depth conversion model – Excel
  • Stratigraphic interpretation of a line - paper
  • Mapping exercise – hand contouring
  • Quantification of uncertainties – Excel
  • Volume calculation
  • Question and answers on DHI’s during lecture
  • Volume calculation - Excel


Day 1: Recapitulation of fundamentals that are of direct relevance for seismic interpretation, such as reflection coefficients, polarity convention and the like. Brief summary of seismic acquisition and processing.

Day 2: Synthetics and well to seismic matching. Summary of well geophysics. Interpretation fundamentals and 2D/3D workflows. Marker recognition and transfer.

Day 3: Structural interpretation. Tectonic styles: extension, compression, wrench and halokinesis. Fault interpretation.

Day 4: Summary of stratigraphic interpretation. Interpretation pitfalls. Seismic velocities and time to depth conversion. Mapping and contouring

Day 5: Introduction into quantitative interpretation. Seismic expression of Direct Hydrocarbon Indications. Volumetrics and uncertainties. Wrap-up.



Location Start Date End Date Cost Trainer Book
Upon request     £2,950  Gerhard Diephuis Make enquiry

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"I really appreciate the preparation and help to understand the course material. The difficulty of exercises was just right."
- Shunso Abe, JOGMEC, Japan

Website: Studio Beam Ltd