Interpretation of geophysical data, particularly of 3D seismic 'cubes' from seismic data processing, adds significant commercial value to exploration data. Interpretation methods generally fall into one of two categories, both addressed by ESR research:
- Inferring Geological history: particularly the evolution of rock types, stratigraphy, subsurface structural geometries (image shown right), and basin morphology. The interpretations permit trapping geometries and fluid migration pathways to be detected.
- Inferring current fluid or gas fill: combinations of seismic, gravity and electromagnetic data provide a 3D view of the subsurface. However, their subsurface information is at lower spatial resolution than that of rock cores and logs from wells. Wells provide relatively detailed information which is, however, highly localised and may not be representative of the whole subsurface formations. Using a variety of sophisticated techniques the information in each type of data set is extracted and combined to create a set of scenarios about the possible current state of fluid or gas in subsurface reservoirs. ESR research in this area is embodied within two world-leading industrial consortia, The Edinburgh Time-Lapse Consortium and The Edinburgh Anisotropy Project.