PIMS/Shell Lunchbox Lecture: Dennis Gabor: The Father of Seismic Attribute Analysis

  • Date: 12/16/2014
Brian Russell, University of Calgary, PIMS Chairman of the Board, VP Hampson-Russell

Calgary Place Tower (Shell)


Dennis Gabor: The Father of Seismic Attribute Analysis




Brian Russell holds a B.Sc. M.Sc. and Ph.D. in geophysics.  He joined Chevron in Calgary as an exploration geophysicist in 1976 and subsequently worked for Teknica and Veritas before co-founding Hampson-Russell Software in 1987.  Hampson-Russell is now a subsidiary of CGG, where Russel is Vice President, GeoSoftware and a CGG Fellow. He is involved in the research of new AVO, rock physics, inversion and attribute techniques as well as giving courses and talks throughout the world.  He is a Past-President of both the SEG and Canadian SEG (CSEG) and has received Honorary Membership from both societies, as well as the Cecil Green Enterprise Award from SEG (jointly with Dan Hampson). 


Dennis Gabor was a Hungarian/British physicist who invented holography, for which he received the 1971 Nobel Prize.  However, in the world of seismic data analysis, he is best known for the Gabor transform, a special case of the short-time Fourier Transform that has been successfully applied to seismic deconvolution and migration by Professors Gary Margrave and Michael Lamoureux and their students at the University of Calgary. But it is interesting to note that the Gabor transform was only one of three remarkable inventions in Gabor’s landmark 1946 paper: “Theory of Communication,” the others being time-frequency analysis and the complex signal. This talk will give a brief discussion of time-frequency analysis and the Gabor transform and will then focus on Gabor’s work on the complex signal and the development of seismic attribute analysis. His work lead directly to the first generation of seismic attributes, which were based entirely on Gabor’s complex signal and were applied to single seismic traces. The second generation of seismic attributes were based on cross-correlations between seismic traces and thus did not appear at first to be related to Gabor’s work.  However, it has been shown that if we extend Gabor’s complex signal analysis to the in-line and cross-line directions of a seismic volume, these second generation attributes can be related directly to the complex signal.  In this way, Russell will show that Gabor can be considered to be the “father” of seismic attribute analysis. This talk can also be considered as an historical summary of seismic attributes and as an explanation of their inter-relationships, since many seismic interpreters are overwhelmed by the sheer number of currently available attributes.

Other Information: 

Location: Calgary Place Tower 1 (330 5th Avenue SW), Room 1116


Time: 12:00-1:00 pm





PIMS is grateful for the support of Shell Canada Limited, Alberta
Enterprise and Advanced Education, and the University of Calgary for
their support of this series of lectures.