Marine Geophysical Researches

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 319–329 | Cite as

Resurrecting vintage paper seismic records

  • Peter R. Miles
  • Marc Schaming
  • Raúl Lovera
Original Research Paper


Marine seismic data has been collected for several decades in both academia and industry. Early single channel acquisitions were often, if at all, recorded on magnetic media that are generally no longer supported for replay. Although seismic data over 10 years old has limited quality compared to modern acquisition, thousands of survey km of hard copy records remains world wide in areas with no recent coverage. In addition, many processed multi-channel datasets are now not available as digital files for a variety of reasons. Rising interest in continental margin geology in response to climate change priorities and the UNCLOS submission requirements of maritime states has created a demand to re-use these older records where the cost of new or re-acquisition is not pragmatic. Through creating digital SEG-Y files from images of these records they can be reprocessed and re-interpreted. This paper investigates the practicalities of paper seismic record re-use and measures the performance of a typical conversion option as an indicator of the validity of the concept. Examples of applications of the process illustrate what can be achieved and the limitations that exist so that users can make an informed choice of whether to resurrect their information.


Marine seismic profile Seismic processing Media transfer/data rescue Transformation/conversion SEG-Y format 



European Commission MAST project SEISCAN MAS3-CT97-0101 & FP5 project SEISCANEX EVR1-CT-2001-40016. Gavin Elliot, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton for processing a field example. Brian O’Reilly, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies for permission to illustrate a data set. Project partners: Albert Casas, Maria Sachpazi, Marinos Charalampakis, Dimitris Sakellariou, Nigel Wardell and the late Alessandro P. Marchetti.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Oceanography CentreSouthamptonUK
  2. 2.Institut de Physique du Globe de Strasbourg (ULP, CNRS UMR)StrasbourgFrance
  3. 3.Department GPPG, Faculty of GeologyUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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