Geophysical Analysis of Energy Resources

Science Center Objects

The Geophysical Analysis of Energy Resources Project (also called the Geophysical Analysis Project) meets the need within the USGS and the Energy Resources Program to conduct advanced theoretical and applied research in reflection seismology to improve the delineation and characterization of both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon resources. The scientists of the project fulfill these objectives by providing 2-D and 3-D reflection seismic processing and interpretation expertise in support of various projects. Results from this project provide subsurface structural, stratigraphic, and reservoir-fluid characterization information to resolve unique geologic issues related to hydrocarbon assessment, geologic frameworks, petroleum system delineation, reservoir-fluid identification, and reservoir compartmentalization. Through the National Energy Research Seismic Library (NERSL), the project rescues and preserves digital seismic reflection and related data in danger of being lost or destroyed and provides a mechanism to deliver these data within the USGS and, if non-proprietary, to the public.  NPR-A Data Archive and IPOD-1 are two public data catalogs with nearly 100GB of data.

Seismic Processing and Interpretation

The Geophysical Analysis Project is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the USGS Energy Resources Program’s 2-D and 3-D seismic reflection data processing facility located in Denver, Colorado. The scientists of the Geophysical Analysis Project process both newly acquired seismic data, as well as older legacy data. These data include vertical seismic, surface seismic, ocean bottom cable (OBC), ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) data and can be either single- or multi-channel 2-D seismic lines or 3-D seismic volumes.

National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska Seismic Legacy Data Archive

National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska Seismic Legacy Data Archive is an application that allows users to find and download seismic and well log data.  This collection holds nearly 90 GB of information collected from the 1940's to 1970's. Run first by the U.S. Navy and later the USGS, this exploration program collected over 12,000 line miles of seismic data and drilled 28 exploratory wells. 

In addition to seismic processing, the Geophysical Analysis Project also provides seismic interpretation capabilities to the USGS Energy Resources Program.  The project’s interpreters complete processes such as interpretation of 2-D seismic lines and 3-D seismic volumes (both modern and legacy), synthetic seismogram generation, well log display, correlation, and interpretation, velocity analysis, and 3-D visualization.  The interpreters also assist others with the creation of seismic interpretation projects and provide guidance for seismic interpretation-related matters.  Project scientists also complete various analyses of geophysical well logs and integrate those with their seismic processing and interpretation.

The processed seismic reflection lines and volumes, their interpretation and visualization, and the corresponding digital databases produced by this project provide valuable continuous subsurface information to support decisions being made concerning resource management at the local, State, and Federal levels and to various international collaborators. This project also provides expertise to other USGS Programs and projects dealing with issues such as deep crustal imaging studies, mapping of the extended continental shelf, and the determination and mapping of potential geologic hazards

This project also hosts the National Energy Research Seismic Library (NERSL), which rescues and preserves digital seismic reflection and related data in danger of being lost or destroyed and provides a mechanism to deliver these data within the USGS and, if non-proprietary, to the public.  National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska Data Archive from the Alaska North Slope and IPOD-1 Data Archive from Cape Hatteras to the mid-Atlantic Ridge are two public data catalogs maintaned by the project and contain nearly 100GB of data.