Exploration Seismology, 2nd edition

Exploration Seismology, 2nd edition

Pergamon ContinentalShelfResearch,Vol.17,No. 5, pp. 583-584,1997 Copyright© 1997ElsevierScienceLtd Printedin GreatBritain.Allrightsreserved 0278-4343...

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Pergamon

ContinentalShelfResearch,Vol.17,No. 5, pp. 583-584,1997 Copyright© 1997ElsevierScienceLtd Printedin GreatBritain.Allrightsreserved 0278-4343/97$17.00+0.00

BOOK REVIEW

Exploration Seismology, 2nd edition, Robert E. Sheriff and Lloyd P. Geldart, Cambridge University ]Press, 1995. In terms of the volume of data, seismic exploration is dominated by work on the continental shelf and in recent years there has been a steady trend towards exploration in deeper waters. The first edition of Exploration Seismology appeared in two volumes in 1982 and 1983. It was soon widely recognized as the most comprehensive text covering the whole field and has served as an invaluable resource for both students and practicing geophysicists. Since the publication of the first edition there have been many improvements in seismic exploration. Advances in acquisition and computer technology have yielded dramatic increases in the quantity and quality of seismic images. Threedimensional reflection surveys are now routinely used to delineate known hydrocarbon reservoirs and many specialized techniques are receiving increased interest. In the preface to the second edition, the authors state that they "want this book to be a reference work as well as a text book and guide for practicing geophysicists". These are ambitious and sometimes contradictory objectives and yet in virtually all respects the book succeeds splendidly. Not only has the new edition been comprehensively updated to reflect recent developme:ats but new material has been added elsewhere and the order of presentation improved. After an interesting introductory chapter on the history of exploration seismology, the book develops the theory of seismology. This section has been significantly revised to include a short chapter on partitioning at interfaces and new material on anisotropy, Stoneley waves, and tube waves. Chapters on seismic velocity and the characterisl:ics of seismic events are excellent and show very clearly why a theoretical understanding is of practical importance for seismic interpretation. The heart of the book is devoted to four comprehensive chapters that cover the acquisition, processing, and interpretation of two-dimensional reflection data. A chapter on refraction methods is followed by three entirely new chapters. The first is devoted to the unique aspects of threedimensional reflection surveys. The others present brief but informative synopses of specialized techniques including S waves, vertical seismic profiling, and tomography, and specialized applications to engineering, coal geophysics, groundwater and environmental studies, and hydrocarbon-reservoir evaluation. A final chapter summarizes the background mal:hematics required to follow the theory although most of the book is accessible to the non-mathematically inclined. The book is exhaustively cross-referenced throughout and terminology and notation are clear and consistent. The illustrations are excellent and the new edition makes good use of color plates in the chapters on geological interpretation and three-dimensional methods. Students will find a good supply of interesting problems at the end of each chapter. It is very difficult to find fault with this book. Specialists may 583

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Book Review

find it incomplete in their own area of expertise although it is difficult to envision a more comprehensive single-volume treatment of such a broad field. Where a mathematical proof is omitted or a topic is covered only briefly, the authors meticulously cite the appropriate references for a more detailed treatment. Exploration Seismology should be required reading for anybody entering the field and experienced geophysicists with wellworn copies of the first edition should find enough new material in the second edition to make it worthwhile. Like the first edition, the new edition should serve as the authoritative text for the next decade. William S. D. Wilcock School of Oceanography University of Washington Seattle, W A 98195, U.S.A.