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best seismic interpreters 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 9:37 pm
Posts: 11
Post best seismic interpreters
I am a Geophysicist early in his career. I am beginning to hear some geologists saying that the best interpreters are geologists. Of course, we geohysicists vehemently disagree and feel slighted by this. Does anyone with experience have some insight into this. I mean, I understand that geologists would be good at spotting geologic patterns in seismic, but based on my experience its my background with physics that helps me to QC my interpretation, to understand the limtations of the seismic, and to make recommendations. And I haven't even said anything about inversion yet.
Please offer insight anyone,
Cheers


Mon May 14, 2012 2:40 am

Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:25 pm
Posts: 47
Post Re: who makes better interpreters
In my opinion there are many flavors of SI's. For some aspects a geology background might be better (fault interpretation & structural styles, seismic facies and mapping). For other aspects (DHI, quantative interpretation, AVO analysis, attribute analysis and wedge modeling for tuning effects) a geophysics background might be better. Don't worry about your background. You're going to learn all you need on the job; and better still, in a good company you can focus on what you like most.


Wed May 16, 2012 9:02 pm

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 9:37 pm
Posts: 11
Post Re: who makes better interpreters
Thanks.


Wed May 16, 2012 9:31 pm

Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:27 am
Posts: 12
Post Re: who makes better interpreters
I am a geologist early in his career and thus have not that great an experience in my field. But it is imperative to do your work and not be bothered by criticism and not get into unnecessary debates that waste precious time, that could be spent doing something constructive and worthwhile. 'To each his own' is a worthy saying. And for the matter at hand, every discipline has its own advantages and limitations, you learn them through experience. Hence seasoned geologists don't get into such debates.


Thu May 17, 2012 12:36 pm

Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 3:45 pm
Posts: 18
Post Re: best seismic interpreters
Hello,

I think there is no single answer to your question. There are complex answers and simple opinions, some based on experience, some not, but as for a definative answer simple answer, I don't think there is one. The opinions I express below area based on my experiences.

1) I think my MS in physics made me better at understanding many of the pitfalls and problems that can derail the quality of a set of data than I would have been without it.

2) Without my BS in geology and haveing a genrally "big picture" personality I don't think I would have been as good at interpreting as I was.

3) The best geophysict I knew was a trained as a physicist.

4) When the big lay off crunch came in the mid 80's most of my geologist friends who were working as geophysicists kept their jobs longer than did the physics trained guys (but that was a very small number and so sampling error may invalidate the observation)

5) I was told that in the late 70's and early 80's, when that boom began, companies hired many physicists, engineers, and mathematicians and tried to cross train them into geophysical interpreters but statistically it didn't work out so they started hiring geologists with minors in math, physics,or engineering. and cross training them.

6) Generally speaking the engineers have as much trouble with the vagaries of geology as geologists do with the specificity of engineering - but - one of the best geologists I ever worked with was an electrical engineer with an MBA in finanace. Physicists sometimes have the same problem - the vagaries of geology.

7) At the school where I got my geology degree we recruited our best students from the music department.

8) A few decades after the previous experiences I was teaching geology at a community college and had occassion to help a geophysics grad student and a senior geophysics major from a near by university set up a seismic station. The senior commented that he was going to geophysics summer camp in a few months. I asked him if he had been to geology summer camp and his reply was a somewhat astonished, puzzled, and slighlty demeaning - Why should I. To which I replied because th first sylablle of geophysics is geo!. And why were they having to have me help them set up the station? Because neither could read a topgraphic map or a compass.

9) When I was a graduate student I was interviewed for a job as a geophysicist. When asked why I had not pursued a geophysics curricula rather than a geology/physics one I said that from what I had seen geophysists didn't know enough geology or physics to do the job correctly. I didn't get hired but never regreted the answer - though as mentioned above there are plenty of individual expceptions.

Individually I would say it depends on the person. Statistically I will go with the geologists.

My only advise is to quite worrying about being slighted and learn as much as you can from anyone who knows more than you regardless of their academic training. For over 40 years I've been amazed at what "unqualified" people knew.

Darryl


Thu May 17, 2012 1:52 pm
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:44 pm
Posts: 49
Post Re: best seismic interpreters
Interesting discussion going on here!
I merged the topics in both forums into one.

_________________
E&P Geology Messageboard Administrator


Thu May 17, 2012 4:22 pm
WWW

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 9:37 pm
Posts: 11
Post Re: best seismic interpreters
I agree it is interesting.


Thu May 17, 2012 5:58 pm

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 9:37 pm
Posts: 11
Post Re: best seismic interpreters
I've put this question to a number of people and I am noticing an interesting trend. The geologists tend to give the nod to geologists (albiet diplomatically). While geophysicists tend believe geophysicists make the best interpreters. It seems that ego plays a role despite the most honest intentions. I also notice that geologists tend to believe that a strong background in geology is the most important quality for a geophysicist (emphasize the geo). While geophysicists tend to view geophysics as a subdiscipline of physics. Geophysics is absolutely a branch of physics not geology. You don't need to know anything about geology to be a world class geophysicist. However, the question I asked was regarding INTERPRETERS. So it is clear from these discussions that a strong geology background is important for many interpretation skills. I like what O_stevens said about different backgrounds being strongly suited to different aspects of interpretation.


Fri May 18, 2012 5:50 am

Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:27 am
Posts: 12
Post Re: best seismic interpreters
seismic dunedain wrote:
I've put this question to a number of people and I am noticing an interesting trend. The geologists tend to give the nod to geologists (albiet diplomatically). While geophysicists tend believe geophysicists make the best interpreters. It seems that ego plays a role despite the most honest intentions. I also notice that geologists tend to believe that a strong background in geology is the most important quality for a geophysicist (emphasize the geo). While geophysicists tend to view geophysics as a subdiscipline of physics. Geophysics is absolutely a branch of physics not geology. You don't need to know anything about geology to be a world class geophysicist. However, the question I asked was regarding INTERPRETERS. So it is clear from these discussions that a strong geology background is important for many interpretation skills. I like what O_stevens said about different backgrounds being strongly suited to different aspects of interpretation.

Sorry I had to butt in...
I realise that you got the answer to your question, but tell me how would you explain a completely overturned fold limb without getting to know how was it originally. That is where geology comes in with its various fields of paleontology and stratigraphy to help you in this matter. Its the li'l details that matter, my friend, that can place you in a totally different era when interpreting.
You need geology in geophysics as much as you need salt in your food.


Sat May 26, 2012 2:02 pm

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 9:37 pm
Posts: 11
Post Re: best seismic interpreters
Yes I agree. I didn't make myself clear. I was pointing out that not all Geophysicists are interpreters. And, many geophysicists who aren't interpreters may know little or nothing about geology. The best geophysicist I have ever known spends his time in the realm of inverse theory, differential equations and signal analysis theory.


Sat May 26, 2012 4:11 pm
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