Geophysics - Surface Imaging

3D Tomography by Active and Passive Seismic Data



  Prof. Dr Aldo Vesnaver (The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)


  1 day


  Geophysics – Surface Imaging






  5 CPD points




Course description

Building a 3D Earth model in depth is needed not only for accurate seismic imaging but also for linking well data (such as logs and cores) and reservoir simulations. Tomography can build a 3D macro-model for P and S velocities that integrates surface and well data as well as active and passive seismic. This short course will introduce the basic concepts of travel time inversion keeping all the mathematics at a very basic level but also providing an overview about advanced topics and plenty of application examples with real data, including near-surface challenges in Saudi Arabia and a time-lapse application at the North Sea.


Course objectives

Participants will appreciate the basic simplicity of the tomographic inversion of travel times, recognizing and avoiding pitfalls of its application to real data. Reducing the estimation errors, especially when it comes to passive seismic, is a key goal of the course. Several application examples will highlight the impact of these techniques for the industry, highlighting a key role of tomography for integrating surface to borehole and active to passive seismic data.


Course outline

  • Basic concepts of traveltime tomography
  • Resolution and uniqueness of tomographic images
  • Integrating reflected and refracted arrivals, surface and borehole data
  • Time-lapse tomography
  • Additional unknowns but also information from passive seismic
  • Application examples


Participants' profile

Welcome participants include professionals involved in seismic interpretation and processing, petroleum engineers engaged with reservoir characterization and simulation, graduate students or research scientists.



Participants should have a Bachelor’s or Master Degree in geosciences, or a few years of experience in this field.


About the instructor

Prof. Dr Aldo Vesnaver

Aldo Vesnaver got a MS in Physics and a PhD in Geophysics from the University of Trieste (Italy). From 1983 to 2001, and from 2006 to 2010, he has been working at OGS (Italian National Institute for Oceanography and Applied Geophysics) with various assignments, as seismic analyst, R&D Team Leader and Vice-Director of Department.

From 2001 to 2006, he worked at Saudi Aramco in seismic R&D. From 2010 to 2013 he has been teaching at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (Dhahran, Saudi Arabia) as a Saudi Aramco Chair Professor.

He was a co-founder of the Italian EAGE-SEG Section in 2001, and is its current President. From 2002 to 2006, he has been part of the Executive Committee the Dhahran Geoscience Society.

He served SEG as Chairman of the Global Affairs Committee (2004-2005) and Membership Committee (2008), and in 2010 as SEG Honorary Lecturer for Europe. In 2009, he was awarded by the SEG Lifetime membership.

From 2003 to 2006 he has been an Associate Editor of “Geophysics”. From 2003 he has been an Associate and Deputy Editor of “Geophysical Prospecting”, and from 2006 to 2008 its Editor-in-Chief.

He published over 100 papers in international refereed journals or conference proceedings.


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