View the Marine Geophysics Forum

The purpose of this group is for collaboration related to the EarthCube Marine Geophysics End-User Workshop:

Increasing Access to and Relevance of Marine Seismic Data

EarthCube End-user Workshop held in San Francisco, Dec 11-13, 2014 (Thursday-Saturday before AGU Fall Meeting) 

Executive Summary of workshop

Originally scheduled for November 2013, this workshop was postponed due to the US government shutdown.

We brought together knowledgeable U.S. & international representatives of the marine geology and geophysics academic community, with selected members of the offshore hydrocarbon business, representing key industry users and seismic data vendors.

Steering Committee:
Jamie Austin, Univ of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG)
Nathan Bangs, UTIG
Suzanne Carbotte, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)
Jon Childs, US Geological Survey
Adrian McGrail, ION
John Snedden, UTIG
David Arctur, Univ of Texas (EarthCube liaison)


Primary Objectives:

  • Review of successful examples of academic use of preexisting industry marine seismic data.
  • Discussion of strategies for developing joint industry-academic acquisition of new data, which are consistent with commercial and academic imperatives and data restrictions.
  • Discussion of a revised model for research vessel Langseth operations.

Linking academic and industry marine seismic data acquisition and processing capabilities will have positive influences on: 1) education of young marine geoscientists, 2) increased academic focus on the use of industry seismic data, e.g., to identify and evaluate promising prospects for oil and gas along the world’s continental margins, leading to improved exploration models through enhanced collaboration, and 3) the health of the academic community’s primary seismic acquisition platform, the Langseth, potentially through joint use by industry, where scientific problems can be defined for mutual industry and academic benefit.

In the longer term, more robust interactions between U.S. academic and industry scientists offshore should also have impact beyond the geosciences, by improving the overall climate of academic-industry collaboration. This may benefit other geoscience communities, for example from improved cyberinfrastructure for marine seismic data processing.  Such collaboration is supported by the U.S. government as a primary mechanism for maintaining national prominence in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields.

Other Topics:

  • Exploration of more efficient use of non-U.S. national seismic databases, e.g., how international academic communities could work together to optimize seismic data resources and related cyberinfrastructure.
  • Identification of seismic data sources unfamiliar to the academic community.
  • Codifying industry sources of 2D/3D seismic data for future U.S. academic community use, e.g., in support of scientific ocean drilling efforts in areas where both academia and industry will benefit from such drilling.
  • Creating a roadmap to augment existing models of seismic data access for the U.S. and international academic communities.
  • Encouraging awareness of and access to marine seismic data and linked models among other geoscience communities.  Such increased awareness would have positive ancillary benefits to the: 1) international hydrological community, for the development of improved fluid migration models through porous media; to the 2) computer graphics industry, which develops software supporting the spatial analysis and interpretation of marine seismic data; and to 3) coastal communities around the world, which are increasingly relying on offshore seismic images to plan mitigation efforts for natural hazards.

The last bullet above is of particular interest for the NSF EarthCube initiative.

EarthCube liaison: David Arctur