Houston 2011

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Workshop - Open Software Tools for Reproducible Computational Geophysics
Sponsored by PTTC Texas/SE New Mexico Region
Photo courtesy of Matt Hall



Open software tools allow the exchange of data and procedures so results can be independently reproduced. This greatly accelerates the transfer of technology and best practices in research and commercial communities.

Reproducible research is a revolutionary concept in organizing and transferring geoscientific technology, both in the public domain and inside individual organizations. Computational experiments with geophysical data are captured in the form of transferable recipes, which can be shared and modified by users of the system. The computational recipes are attached to scientific publications, implementing the publication discipline known as "reproducible research". The economic benefits of reproducible research using open source in computational geophysics are enormous.

There are several open-source software packages for geophysical data analysis that were developed to address different aspects of the problem by different organizations around the world. Example packages are SEPlib, Seismic Unix, FreeUSP, DDS, JavaSeis, Mines JTK, PSEIS, OpendTect, CPSeis, and Madagascar. The packages have individual strengths, are not integrated in a comprehensive system, and some critical components are missing. The workshop will introduce participants to the available software. Those already working on various components will get an update on the recent progress. Users and developers will build the community required to improve collaboration.

Petroleum Technology Transfer Council
A forum for transfer of technology and best- practices within the O&G community


Day 1: Thursday, June 16
8:30-9:00 Continental Breakfast
9:00-9:30 Welcome (Karl Schleicher) Abstract
9:30-10:00 A Comparison of Open Source Seismic Processing Software (Mihai Popovici) Abstract
10:00-10:45 The Mines Java Toolkit and Multicore Computing + demo (Dave Hale) Abstract
10:45-11:00 Break
11:00-11:30 JavaSeis (Chuck Mosher) Abstract
11:30-12:00 Scientific Python (Eric Jones) Abstract
12:00-12:30 FreeDDS and FreeUSP (Richard Clarke Abstract
12:30-1:30 Lunch
1:30-2:00 BotoSeis: A new interactive platform for seismic data processing with SU (German Garabito) Abstract
2:00-2:45 Open Seismic Data with Scripts for Processing with Open Software + demo (Karl Schleicher) Abstract
2:45-3:00 break
3:00-3:45 CPSeis -- Open-Source Seismic Processing - How it is Used, Lessons Learned + demo (Bill Menger) Abstract
3:45-4:00 Break
4:00-5:00 Discussion

Open Q&A session of the first day's presentations. Work on install the open source software and problem solving. Please bring your laptop computer with Linux installed to participate.

5:30-8:00 Dinner

Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen
13080 Northwest Freeway, Houston - (713) 460-1203
Directions from the HRC to Pappadeaux


Day 2: Friday, June 17
8:30-9:00 Continental Breakfast
9:00-9:30 Welcome (Karl Schleicher)
9:30-10:00 Open-source software usage in a geophysical software and services company (Nick Vlad) Abstract
10:00-10:30 SEPlib (Yang Zhang) Abstract
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45-11:15 Madagascar open-source project (Sergey Fomel) Abstract
11:15-11:45 How can we add interactivity to Madagascar graphics? A proposal. (Joe Dellinger) Abstract
11:45-12:15 SeaSeis: A simple open-source seismic data processing system (Bjorn Olofsson) Abstract
12:15-1:15 Lunch
1:15-1:45 OpendTect: driving the open source model into the world of oil and gas (Renee Bourque) Abstract
1:45-2:15 Mobile Geo-computing in oil and gas (Matt Hall) Abstract
2:15-3:15 Discussion

Open Q&A session of the presentations. Work on install the open source software and problem solving. Please bring your laptop computer with Linux installed to participate. After the scheduled program participants are welcome to use the meeting room for informal work sessions.



The University of Texas at Austin
Bureau of Economic Geology
Houston Research Center


Dinner Location

Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen
13080 Northwest Freeway, Houston - (713) 460-1203
Directions from the HRC to Pappadeaux

Speaker biographies

  • Renee Bourque is a Geoscientist at dGB Earth Sciences in Houston, TX. As part of the case studies team, she has interpreted basins around the world and contributed to the development of the HorizonCube and related applications. Her professional interests include educational outreach and helping others to see the geology behind the seismic reflections. Renee received her Bachelor’s in Geology from Texas A&M University, and her Master’s in Hydrogeophysics from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
  • Joe Dellinger graduated from the Stanford Exploration Project in 1991. He is the author of much of the framework underlying vplot, the graphics system used in SEPlib and now Madagascar. Joe currently works in the seismic imaging team at BP in Houston.
  • Sergey Fomel has been working at the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin since 2002 and currently has an Associate Professor appointment, jointly with the Department of Geological Sciences. He received a Ph.D. in Geophysics from Stanford University in 2001 and worked previously at the Institute of Geophysics in Novosibirsk, Russia, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Sergey started work on Madagascar (at that time named RSF for Regularly Sampled Format) in 2003.
  • Dave Hale received a B.S. in physics from Texas A&M University in 1977 and a Ph.D. in geophysics from Stanford University in 1983. At Stanford, he studied with the Stanford Exploration Project. He has worked as a field seismologist and research geophysicist for Western Geophysical, as a senior research geophysicist for Chevron, as an associate professor at the Colorado School of Mines, as a chief geophysicist and software developer for Advance Geophysical, and as a senior research fellow for Landmark Graphics. While at Mines, he worked with the Center for Wave Phenomena. In 2005, he returned to Mines as the C.H. Green Professor of Exploration Geophysics.
  • Matt Hall is a geoscientist based in Nova Scotia. A sedimentologist who found geophysics later in his career, Matt has worked at Statoil in Stavanger, Landmark and ConocoPhillips in Calgary, and is now happily self-employed - - running his company from his world HQ: A small shed conveniently located in his back garden. You can read Matt's blog of the workshop at http://www.agilegeoscience.com/journal/2011/6/16/open-seismic-processing-and-dolphins.html and http://www.agilegeoscience.com/journal/2011/6/18/more-powertools-and-a-gobsmacking.html
  • Bill Menger - Houston HPC Manager for Weinman Geoscience: Bill holds BS degrees in Electrical Engineering and Geophysics from Texas A&M University. He was a nuclear engineer in the US Navy Submarine force for five years, joined Conoco R&D doing work in magnetotellurics, multi-component seismic, and development of a seismic processing system for the Cray X-MP. He moved to Houston with Conoco's Advance Exploration group, building a worldwide database of all its oil and gas data using a distributed database. After a stint in Lafayette as data management supervisor, he left Conoco to join Applied Geophysical Software, where he wrote software for multiple suppression, model-building, tomography, and depth migration. Bill rejoined Conoco in 1998 and assisted with the rewrite of CPS, the seismic processing system for Conoco. From the ConocoPhillips merger in 2002 until March 2009 he supervised a software and HPC group. At ConocoPhillips, Bill was instrumental in obtaining open source licensing for CPS (http://cpseis.org), and for GeoCraft (http://geocraft.org), a framework for general purpose geophysical software. Bill is President of the Society of HPC Professionals.
  • Bjorn Olofsson received a MSc degree in geophysics from the University of Hamburg in 1997. Starting with Geco-Prakla in Stavanger/Norway as a data processor, he worked in seabed seismic data processing for 4 years, then moved into research & development for the following 4 years. In 2005 he joined Multiwave, a small marine seismic service provider based in Bergen/Norway which subsequently was acquired by CGG, as an onboard QC geophysicist. After working offshore for 1 1/2 years, he went back to the office as a research geophysicist and doing onboard processing support. He then had a short stint at Spectraseis doing passive seismic data processing, and has since then worked with Seabird Exploration in ocean bottom node seismic business.
  • Karl Schleicher received a B.S. In Mathematics from the University of Houston in 1974 and an MS in Management from the University of Texas at Dallas n 1988. He has worked in data processing, software testing, and research for GSI, Halliburton Geophysical, Western Geophysical, GDC, PGS and AGS. He is interested in the practical development, implementation, and commercialization of seismic processing technology. He is now retired and works part time as a Senior Research Fellow at University of Texas at Austin
  • Ioan (Nick) Vlad received an Engineer degree in geophysics (2000) from the University of Bucharest and a M.Sc. degree in geophysics (2002) from Stanford University. After three more years of research at Stanford and an internship with ConocoPhillips, he joined Statoil. He did imaging and velocity analysis R&D for Statoil for five years -- four at the Trondheim Research Center, and one as a Visiting Scientist with Colorado School of Mines. He is currently a Senior Research Geophysicist with Fusion Petroleum, Inc. He is a member of the SEG, EAGE, IEEE Computer Society, FSF and the Linux Foundation. He has been a participant in the Madagascar project since 2006.