Oilfield Glossary
Oilfield Glossary
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synthetic seismogram

Display of acoustic impedance, traces, well logs and a zero-phase wavelet
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1. n. [Geophysics]
The result of one of many forms of forward modeling to predict the seismic response of the Earth. A more narrow definition used by seismic interpreters is that a synthetic seismogram, commonly called a synthetic, is a direct one-dimensional model of acoustic energy traveling through the layers of the Earth. The synthetic seismogram is generated by convolving the reflectivity derived from digitized acoustic and density logs with the wavelet derived from seismic data. By comparing marker beds or other correlation points picked on well logs with major reflections on the seismic section, interpretations of the data can be improved. The quality of the match between a synthetic seismogram depends on well log quality, seismic data processing quality, and the ability to extract a representative wavelet from seismic data, among other factors. The acoustic log is generally calibrated with check-shot or vertical seismic profile (VSP) first-arrival information before combining with the density log to produce acoustic impedance.