Seismic, Biology ‘Genomes’ Analogous

Illustration by Rusty Johnson

The mammoth task of determining the three billion-letter DNA sequence of the human genome was recently completed - but this milestone in understanding the most complex systems known to mankind is, in fact, only a beginning.

Identifying which parts of human DNA contain genes and then determining the role of those genes in governing cell function are challenges that will occupy geneticists for future decades.

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Illustration by Rusty Johnson

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Illustration by Rusty Johnson

The mammoth task of determining the three billion-letter DNA sequence of the human genome was recently completed - but this milestone in understanding the most complex systems known to mankind is, in fact, only a beginning.

Identifying which parts of human DNA contain genes and then determining the role of those genes in governing cell function are challenges that will occupy geneticists for future decades.

Understanding the seismic “genome” is an analogous challenge.

Distinguishing signals from noise and determining their geological significance requires a similar congruence of powerful computerized tools and interpretive expertise.

Seismic “genes” are manifest as patterns and textures in the seismic image - recognizable to the trained explorationist but not to the computer. These patterns and textures are the trace shapes and depositional geometries seen in the seismic.

Current computerized tools provide little more than an electronic pencil to enable the explorationist to draw an interpretation into the computer.

Overwhelmed by data, facing ever-tighter deadlines and supported by computerized drawing rather than searching tools, it is difficult for today’s explorationist to use the range of seismic “genes” that are already well understood, let alone search for new ones.

ImageGenetics™ technology takes nature’s principle of encoding complex systems as DNA sequences and attempts to use it to decode complex natural systems into their basic DNA. It generates the “DNA” of any seismic data, pre- or post-stack - and this seismic “DNA” then can be searched for “genes,” or patterns, that code particular geologic characteristics, the company said.

If so, the explorationist could be able to use this to construct an explicit template of seismic “genes” that characterize a play concept, and then search large volumes of data for all leads that exhibit the same characteristics.

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