The Virtual Seismic Atlas Project - sharing the interpretation of seismic data

Category Other
Group GSI.IR
Location International Geological Congress,oslo 2008
Author Butler, Rob۱; McvCaffrey, Bill۲; McCaffrey, Bill۱; Stuart, Graham۲; Clayton, Sam۳
Holding Date 21 September 2008

Through the activities of academic research programs, national institutions and corporations, especially oil and gas companies, there is a substantial volume of seismic reflection data. Although vast majority is proprietary and confidential, there are significant volumes of data that are potentially within the public domain and available for research. Yet the community is poorly connected to these data and consequently geological research using seismic reflection data is limited to very few groups of researchers. But no longer. The Virtual Seismic Atlas (VSA) is generating an independent, community based internet resource that captures and shares the geological interpretation of seismic data globally. At its simplest it is a picture and workbook training tool. But it also links to other data formats and electronic resources. Images and associated documents are explicitly indexed using not only existing survey and geographical data but also on the geology they portray. The key to the effectiveness of the VSA lies in the design and use of metadata, which are collected using as bespoke taxonomic structure. The Documentum database for the VSA is interrogated through Endeca’s "Guided Navigation" to search, discover and retrieve images. Unlike many existing search engines, that do not link to managed metadata resources, the VSA only generates valid and relevant search results that can be refined on the fly. As part of the search environment users are exposed to arrays of geological analogues that can provide entirely novel insights and genuine surprises. This can then drive new creative opportunities for research and education. The VSA launched in April 2008 (at and is "free-at-the-point-of-access". Functionality and content within the VSA is being rolled out through 2008. There are opportunities for designed integration with other global data programs in the earth sciences.