Oilfield Glossary
Oilfield Glossary
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geophysics  Geophysics plays a critical role in the oil and gas industry. Geophysical data are used by exploration and production personnel to ascertain the presence, nature and size of subsurface rock layers and reservoirs contained therein. This discipline encompasses the physics of the planet, especially its electrical, gravitational and magnetic fields, and the propagation of seismic waves within it. Terms in this field include acoustic, magnetics and zero-phase. All definitions have been reviewed by geophysicists, and many are accompanied by high-quality photographs or illustrations.

Variables and Numbers

1D seismic data 2D survey 3D seismic data 4C seismic data
1-D seismic data 2-way traveltime 3D survey 4D seismic data
2D seismic data 3C seismic data


abnormal events acoustic velocity amplitude distortion arrival
absorbing boundary conditions acoustic velocity log amplitude variation with offset arrival time
absorptance acoustic wave amplitude variation with offset and azimuth attenuate
absorption acquisition angle of approach attenuation
absorption band aeolotropy angle of incidence attribute
accelerometer aerated layer angular dispersion autocorrelation
acoustic aeromagnetic survey anisotropic automatic gain control
acoustic basement AGC anisotropy autotrack
acoustic coupler AGC time constant antialias filter autotracking
acoustic emission air gun aperture AVA
acoustic impedance air shooting apparent anisotropy AVAZ
acoustic impedance section air wave apparent velocity average velocity
acoustic log alias filter apparent wavelength AVO
acoustic positioning aliasing applied-potential method AVOAZ
acoustic transparency amplitude array axis of rotational symmetry
acoustic traveltime amplitude anomaly


back propagation band-pass bin Bouguer correction
back stripping band-reject bird bow tie
back-propagation base of weathering birefringence brachistochrone
backscatter base station blasting cap break
back-stripping baseline blind zone bright spot
band basic wavelet BM brute stack
band limited function Beaufort scale body wave bubble effect
band pass bel borehole seismic data buggy vibro
band reject benchmark Bouguer anomaly bulk modulus
band-limited function bias


cable coherent detection common-source gather critical damping
calibration coherent noise compaction correction critical reflection
cap common depth point complex trace analysis crosscorrelate
caprock effect common midpoint complex-trace analysis crosscorrelation
cavitation common midpoint method compressional wave crossline
CDP common offset conductance crosswell reflection tomography
channel common receiver convergence crosswell seismic tomography
channel wave common receiver gather convergent crosswell tomography
character common reflection point converted wave crustal magnetic field
check shot survey common source convolution CSG
check-shot survey common source gather convolve cultural anomaly
circle shooting common-offset correlation cultural noise
CMP common-receiver coupling curve fitting
coherence common-receiver gather CRG curve matching
coherence filtering common-source critical angle cycle skip


damping depth point dilatation dogleg
datum depth section dilatational wave domain
datum correction detectable limit dim spot doodlebugger
dB detector dip moveout double refraction
decibel deterministic deconvolution dipole downhole receiver
deconvolution detonate dipole field downhole source
deep seismic sounding detonator directivity downward continuation
deep tow dielectric discontinuity drained test
delta difference map dispersion drift
delta t differential weathering correction displacement drill noise vertical seismic profile
density contrast diffraction distortion drill-noise vertical seismic profile
density profile diffraction stack diurnal variation dropout
depth controller diffusion divergence DSS
depth conversion diffusion equation Dix formula dynamic correction
depth map dilatancy DMO dynamic range
depth migration dilatancy theory dog leg dynamite


EDA elastic impedance electromagnetic method event
eddy current elastic moduli elevation correction explosive seismic data
eel elastic wave embedded wavelet extended spread
elastic anisotropy electrical conductivity epsilon (ε) extensive dilatancy anisotropy
elastic constants electrical permittivity equipotential method external disturbance field
elastic deformation electrical resistivity eta (η)


fan shooting first arrival footprint Fourier transform
fast Fourier transform first break forward problem free air correction
Faye correction fixed source method four component seismic data free-air correction
FD fixed-source method four dimensional seismic data frequency
Fermat's principle f-k domain four-component seismic data frequency domain
FFT f-k plot four-dimensional seismic data Fresnel zone
field tape flattened section Fourier analysis FT
filter fold Fourier synthesis Full-azimuth towed-streamer acquisition


gain geophone array ghost grid
gamma (γ) geophone cable Gibbs' phenomenon ground roll
gas chimney geophone interval gravimeter group
gather geophone offset gravimetry group interval
geomagnetic secular variation geophone pattern gravity group velocity
geometric geophysicist gravity anomaly guided wave
geophone geophysics gravity survey gun


halo effect header horizon HTI
harmonic distortion hertz horizon slice hydrocarbon indicator
head wave hodogram horizontal transverse isotropy hydrophone


IIP incident angle interval time inversion
image inclinometer interval transit time IP
impedance induced polarization interval velocity isochron
impulsive seismic data in-line interwell tomography isochron map
in line interpretation inverse problem isostatic correction


jug jug hustler


Kirchhoff equation Kirchhoff migration kriging


lag least time path local magnetic interference Love wave
Lamé constant least-time path long path multiple low velocity layer
Laplace equation lithostratigraphic inversion long-path multiple low-velocity layer
layer stripping


magnetic constant marker bed mis-tie moveout
magnetic field Maxwell's equations model moving-source method
magnetic permeability midpoint modeling MT
magnetic total field migrate modulus of compression Multiazimuth towed-streamer acquisition
magnetics migration modulus of elasticity multicomponent seismic data
magnetometer minimum time path modulus of rigidity multiple reflection
magnetotelluric method minimum-time path monument mute
main magnetic field mis tie


Narrow-azimuth seismic data near-surface correction noise normal moveout correction
natural frequency nest nondipole field normal-moveout correction
natural remanent magnetism NMO normal incidence NRM
near surface correction NMR normal moveout


OBC ocean-bottom cable offset VSP one way time
observer offset Ohm's law one-dimensional seismic data
Occam's inversion offset vertical seismic profile one dimensional seismic data one-way time


p wave permeability Poisson's ratio profile
parametric permittivity polarity profiling
party perpendicular offset polarity standard propagation constant
party chief phantom post pull up
party manager phase potential field pull-up
patch phase velocity primary reflection push down
peak pick probe push-down
peg leg multiple plane wave processing P-wave
peg-leg multiple plant production


Q quick look quicklook Q-wave
Q wave


radial array Rayleigh wave reflectivity resolution
radial refraction raypath reflector Rich-azimuth towed-streamer acquisition
random noise receiver refraction Ricker wavelet
rarefaction record refractive index rock mechanics
ray reflection refractor root mean square velocity
ray path reflection coefficient remote sensing root-mean-square velocity
ray tracing reflection tomography replacement velocity


S wave seismic trace side-scan sonar space frequency domain
salt proximity survey seismic velocity sideswipe space-frequency domain
salt proximity vertical seismic profile seismic wave signal spacing
salt proximity VSP seismic while drilling vertical seismic profile signal to noise ratio spectral
salt-proximity vertical seismic profile seismic-while-drilling vertical seismic profile signal-to-noise ratio spectrum
salt-proximity VSP seismogram signature spherical divergence
sample frequency seismograph signature deconvolution spherical harmonic
sample interval seismology simple multiple spherical wave
sample rate seismometer sinc x spontaneous potential
seabed geophone semblance Single-azimuth towed-streamer acquisition spread
secondary reflection sensitivity skid stack
seismic SH wave skin depth stacking velocity
seismic acquisition shadow zone slant stack static correction
seismic impedance shaped charge slowness statics
seismic interpretation shear smile Stoneley wave
seismic line shear modulus Snell's law streamer
seismic modeling shear wave sonic streamer feathering
seismic processing shoot a well sonic log suppression
seismic record short-path multiple sound surface wave
seismic reflection tomography shot depth source survey
seismic refraction method shot point source pattern SV wave
seismic section shotpoint source point SV-wave
seismic stratigraphy SH-wave sourcepoint S-wave
seismic survey side scan sonar SP synthetic seismogram


tail buoy three-component seismic data TIV trough
tail mute three-dimensional seismic data TM true amplitude recovery
tangential wave three-dimensional survey tomography true-amplitude recovery
TAR TI trace tube wave
TDEM tie transient electromagnetic method tuning effect
TE TIH transit time two dimensional seismic data
telluric current time domain transition zone two dimensional survey
telluric current method time domain electromagnetic method transmission tomography two way traveltime
telluric-current method time lapse seismic data transverse electric mode two-dimensional seismic data
TEM time migration transverse isotropy two-dimensional survey
three component seismic data time slice transverse magnetic mode two-way traveltime
three dimensional seismic data time-domain electromagnetic method traveltime TWT
three dimensional survey time-lapse seismic data


UCS undershooting uniaxial compressive strength upward continuation
unconfined compressive strength undrained test


variogram velocity correction vertical seismic profile vibratory seismic data
velocity velocity layering vertical transverse isotropy VSP
velocity analysis velocity survey vibrator VTI
velocity anomaly


walk above vertical seismic profile water bottom roll wavefront weathering correction
walk above VSP water gun wavelength well shoot
walk-above vertical seismic profile water-bottom roll wavelet Wide-azimuth towed-streamer acquisition
walk-above VSP wave wavelet extraction wiggle trace
walkaway vertical seismic profile wave equation wavenumber window
walkaway VSP waveform weathered layer work station
Walsh-Hadamard transform


Young's modulus


zero crossing zero offset vertical seismic profile zero-offset data zero-phase
zero offset data zero phase zero-offset vertical seismic profile Zoeppritz equations