From Incremental to Transformational Workflows: Contemporary Imaging and What Comes Next

Dr. Ian F. Jones

Dr. Ian F. Jones

Wednesday, July 8th, 2020 – 12:00 PM MST


Fundamental and incremental changes in both the technology and methodologies used in imaging are transforming the way we undertake processing and imaging projects. The drivers for this change includes factors internal to the hydrocarbon exploration and production (E&P) industry (for example - the oil price and the increasing commoditisation of, particularly, the processing part of projects) and factors driven by the outside world (for example - the pace of computer development, both in hardware and software and the rise of cloud-based systems).

In this paper we will look at how the future of seismic imaging is likely to be dominated by the influence of fundamental changes to the way we build models and images of the subsurface and the merging of these two end goals of a traditional imaging project. Amongst the relevant technologies we will discuss are full waveform inversion (FWI) and the goal of high-frequency interpretable models, reflection full waveform inversion and/or reconstructed wavefield inversion (RFWI), Least-squares reverse-time migration (RTM) and the ultimate goal of closed-loop solutions. We illustrate these changes with examples from recent imaging projects in areas of complex geology.


Ian F. Jones is a Geophysical Advisor based in ION’s UK data processing centre near London.

He holds a PhD in Geophysical signals processing, an MSc in seismology, and a joint-honours BSc in Physics with Geology, and joined ION GXT in 2000 after spending 15 years in R&D with CGG in London and Paris. His areas of interest include velocity model building and seismic imaging, and he regularly teaches the EAGE/SEG continuing education course ‘An Introduction to Migration & Velocity Model Building’.

He is an associate editor for the journals ‘Geophysics’ and ‘Geophysical Prospecting’, serves on the SEG’s editorial committee, and served as an external lecturer at Imperial College London and the University of Leeds.

In 2003 he was awarded the EAGE’s Anstey Medal for ‘contributions to the depth imaging literature’, in 2012 was made the SEG’s Honorary Lecturer for Europe in recognition of his ‘contributions to advancing the science and technology of geophysics’, conducted the international 2018/2019 EAGE Education Tour, the topic being ‘Velocities, Imaging, and Waveform Inversion’, and awarded Honorary Life Membership by the EAGE in 2018.

Ian has published four books, contributed the chapter on model building to the SEG online encyclopaedia, and published over 50 articles on signals processing and imaging.