Increasing the quality of seismic interpretation

Macrae, Euan J. and Bond, Clare E. and Shipton, Zoe K. and Lunn, Rebecca J. (2016) Increasing the quality of seismic interpretation. Interpretation, 4 (3). T395-T402. (

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Geological models are based on the interpretation of spatially sparse and limited resolution datasets. Non-unique interpretations often exist, resulting in commercial, safety and environmental risk. We survey 444 experienced geoscientists to assess the validity of their interpretations of a seismic section for which multiple concepts honor the data. The most statistically significant factor in improving interpretation was writing about geological time. A randomized controlled trial identified for the first time a significant causal link between considering the temporal evolution of an interpretation, a type of writing about geological time, and increased interpretation quality. These results have important implications for interpreting geological data and communicating uncertainty in models.


Macrae, Euan J., Bond, Clare E., Shipton, Zoe K. ORCID logoORCID: and Lunn, Rebecca J. ORCID logoORCID:;