EarthStudy 360

A full 360 degrees of insight into subsurface exploration and production


WOA2016_winner_bestexploration_transparent_crop_sm.pngImagine lowering a camera into the earth’s subsurface and recording a continuous animation that captures the surroundings in all directions and angles.

The dream is now a reality. The Paradigm® EarthStudy 360® full-azimuth angle domain imaging and analysis system is a brand new invention designed to image, characterize, visualize and interpret the total seismic wavefield in all directions.

EarthStudy 360 is an integral part of these Paradigm solutions:

EarthStudy 360 uses the complete recorded wavefield to provide a highly accurate and detailed description of the subsurface. The system delivers a complete set of data to depth imaging and processing experts, as well as to interpretation specialists, enabling them to achieve accurate subsurface velocity models, structural attributes, medium properties, and reservoir characteristics.


Derive unprecedented value from all modern and legacy seismic data acquisitions

Fracture determination using EarthStudy 360 full- azimuth reflection angle gathers
The first full-azimuth imaging solution in the industry, EarthStudy 360 has been rigorously tested, successfully undergoing full-scale studies and field trials in many geological and structural environments. The system has proven successful in extracting unprecedented value from all modern and legacy seismic data acquisitions, especially those with wide and rich azimuth and long offset, in both marine and land environments, including unconventional shale plays.

EarthStudy 360 is not an improved version of existing imaging and interpretation systems; nor is it an evolution of any seismic imaging or interpretation technology in use today. Rather, it is a revolutionary, totally new technology that provides previously unattainable levels of subsurface knowledge to help geoscientists locate reservoirs and optimize development.

Maximum information from seismic data

EarthStudy 360 maximizes the information that can be extracted from recorded seismic data. The wealth of seismic image data is decomposed into full-azimuth, angle-dependent reflectivities and directional (dip and azimuth) data components. These components can be selectively sampled, creatively combined, dynamically visualized, and further processed to secure images of the subsurface.

EarthStudy 360 Benefits:

  • Construct accurate kinematic and dynamic subsurface images from recorded surface seismic data, using the full seismic wavefield
  • Provide high-resolution images, which lead to the detection of faults, fractures, and small vertical displacements in reservoirs, especially important in unconventional shale plays
  • Obtain optimal information for anisotropic tomographic solutions as well as true amplitude reflectivities for AVAZ
  • Avoid surface azimuthal sectoring
  • Generate the highest directional sampling from the seismic method
  • Reduce seismic velocity non-uniqueness with continuous azimuthal sampling
  • Enrich subsurface illumination information from all angles and all azimuths
  • Detect angle-dependent azimuthal anisotropy to determine orientation and spatial characteristics of heterogeneously distributed, sub-seismic, fine fractures
  • Apply specular weighting to enhance structure continuity, or attenuate specular energy (diffraction imaging) for enhancing discontinuous objects such as small faults and fracture systems
  • Gain broader insight into elastic properties and boundaries of target reservoirs
  • Generate rich and detailed seismic reservoir images for difficult-to-interpret 4D seismic signals

Reduce drilling uncertainty and risk

The advanced technologies in EarthStudy 360 help minimize the risk of expensive drilling in challenging environments. The system increases outcome certainty with better seismic images, wave propagation models and subsurface velocity models. The rich information from all angles and azimuths significantly reduces uncertainty and ensures more reliable analysis. Geoscientists can determine principle stress directions to complement well bore stability and pore pressure assessments with continuous azimuthal subsurface sampling.

Add investment value

Paradigm EarthStudy 360 is an essential tool for oil and gas companies seeking a higher return on investment for their most valuable exploration and development assets. It enables extremely high levels of user interaction and QC at any stage in the workflow. By capturing information from all angles and directions, the system empowers the geoscientist to make a comprehensive analysis of the subsurface, and deliver economic recommendations to seismic acquisition programs.

EarthStudy 360 modules

EarthStudy 360 Imager

EarthStudy 360 Imager is an anisotropic multi-arrival solution that uses the entire wavefield, making it ideal for solving complex imaging objectives. Optimal local tapered beams are internally created and imaged to form high-quality image gathers.  This cluster-based system efficiently uses the full recorded wavefield to generate two complementary, 3D, full-azimuth angle gathers: Directional and reflection. The system can be used to provide fast, target-oriented solutions for local analysis, as well as for imaging on a regional scale.  It provides optimal data about the subsurface, enabling accurate velocity model determination and high-resolution reservoir characterization.

EarthStudy 360 Imager performs imaging in the local angle domain to achieve uniform illumination from all angles and all azimuths. These produce amplitude-preserved, angle-dependent reflectivity gathers that account for all possible arrivals (“multi-pathing”) and complex wave phenomena (caustics), as well as compensate for non-illuminated areas and angles. The outputs are ideally suited for velocity model determination, amplitude analysis and seismic reservoir characterization (fracture detection).

EarthStudy 360 Imager Features:

  • Support for isotropic and anisotropic models (VTI, TTI and Orthorhombic)
  • Customizable to image specific exploration or development challenges, such as velocity determination and amplitude inversion
  • Directivity-driven: Can run in preferred directions with respect to given background directivities (dip and azimuth). This is especially important for accelerating the generation of reflection angle gathers and for obtaining highly accurate gathers.
  • Beam steering: Performs tapered local slant stack, and migrates only energetic events.
  • Imaging with local slant stack events provides significant multiple suppression for both surface and inter-bedding multiples.
  • EarthStudy 360 Visualizer, a collection of all the display tools that enable visualization of EarthStudy 360 gathers: Velocity Navigator, 3D Canvas, and 3D Gather Visualizer.
  • Generates optimal data for tomographic velocity updates and amplitude analysis.
  • Includes Paradigm 2D/3D CRAM® (Common Reflection Angle Migration), for generating conventional reflection angle gathers with no azimuth dependency
  • Support for Ocean Bottom Cable acquisition data
  • Support for Q Compensation during the imaging process improves resolution, amplitude balancing and image quality by compensating for dissipation and attenuation effects resulting from gas hydrates or gas clouds. Q Compensation enables amplitude and phase preservation and higher-resolution imaging results.

EarthStudy 360 Processor

Launched from the Velocity Navigator, the EarthStudy 360 Processor performs interactive and cluster-based gather processing. The Processor produces high-resolution images from EarthStudy 360 directional and reflection angle gathers, extracts optimal structural information for tomographic model determination, and employs advanced analysis tools to detect and analyze fractures and/or tectonic stress.

EarthStudy 360 Processor creates specular and diffraction images from directional gathers: Specular images emphasize structure continuity, while diffraction images show small-scale discontinuities. Structural information such as dip, azimuth and continuity can be extracted from directional angle gathers.

From reflection gathers, EarthStudy 360 Processor extracts full-azimuth angle domain residual moveouts, which indicate errors in the angle-dependent images. The residual moveouts are used to update the isotropic and/or anisotropic velocity models and point to the orientation of fractures/stress.

EarthStudy 360 Tomography

EarthStudy 360 tomography uses input data extracted from EarthStudy 360 directional (directivity) and reflection (full-azimuth RMO) gathers to update the velocity model. The model-based (pencil) imaging functionality makes tomography extremely efficient, preserving high connectivity (consistency) between the imaging and tomographic update solutions. The substantial increase in information about the subsurface improves accuracy and reduces uncertainty, especially important when determining anisotropy model parameters.

EarthStudy 360 AVAZ

AVAZ analysis is performed on full-azimuth 3D gathers, with EarthStudy 360 resolving their dependency on structure.  These high-resolution, amplitude preserved 3D gathers are ideal for detailed AVAZ analysis, as they are accurately mapped to reflection angle and azimuth space.  

Unique automatic gather flattening (Paradigm FastVel®) is a key element in the success of AVAZ analysis.

EarthStudy 360 AVAZ analysis results in amplitude-based anisotropic attributes, which can reveal fracture or stress orientation, as well as anisotropic intensity.  This technology is extremely attractive for the analysis of unconventional plays.

EarthStudy 360 VVAZ (Full-Azimuth Residual Moveout Inversion)

VVAZ (Velocity vs. Azimuth) is a key method for estimating the orientation and intensity of aligned fracture/stress systems in the subsurface using azimuthally dependent migrated gathers. The high-quality, high-resolution, full-azimuth subsurface angle gathers generated by EarthStudy 360 Imager have proven to be the optimal data for this kind of analysis. It is assumed that the velocity of seismic waves propagating along aligned fracture systems within conventional or unconventional layers are faster than those waves traveling in other directions, in particular perpendicular to the fracture orientation. This phenomenon affects the migrated reflection events below the fracture systems by causing 180o periodic azimuthally varying residual moveouts (RMO).   The VVAZ method uses this effect to perform RMO inversion.

EarthStudy 360 Orthorhombic Model Support

Information about the orientation and intensity of natural fracture systems is essential for the efficient production of oil and gas. EarthStudy 360 uses rich azimuth prestack seismic data to image and analyze conventional/unconventional fracture systems. The high-quality, high-resolution, full-azimuth subsurface reflection angle gathers generated by EarthStudy 360 Imager have proven to be the optimal data for analyzing azimuthally varying residual moveouts. The analysis uses an advanced VVAZ (Velocity vs. Azimuth) tool, FastVel, to derive global effective NMO velocity parameters. A constrained Dix-type inversion provides local effective NMO velocity parameters, which are further transformed into the desired local orthorhombic parameters. Running the EarthStudy 360 Imager with the orthorhombic layer parameters allows users to fully validate the accuracy of their fracture analysis and improve imaging, in conventional and unconventional plays.  This adds another level of confidence in the results, and results in better drilling decisions.