Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geophysics (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences


Wayne D. Pennington


Roger M. Turpening


Reflection seismic data from the F3 block in the Dutch North Sea exhibits many large-amplitude reflections at shallow horizons, typically categorized as “brightspots ” (Schroot and Schuttenhelm, 2003), mainly because of their bright appearance. In most cases, these bright reflections show a significant “flatness” contrasting with local structural trends.

While flatspots are often easily identified in thick reservoirs, we have often occasionally observed apparent flatspot tuning effects at fluid contacts near reservoir edges and in thin reservoir beds, while only poorly understanding them. We conclude that many of the shallow large-amplitude reflections in block F3 are dominated by flatspots, and we investigate the thin-bed tuning effects that such flatspots cause as they interact with the reflection from the reservoir’s upper boundary. There are two possible effects to be considered: (1) the “wedge-model” tuning effects of the flatspot and overlying brightspots, dimspots, or polarity-reversals; and (2) the stacking effects that result from possible inclusion of post-critical flatspot reflections in these shallow sands. We modeled the effects of these two phenomena for the particular stratigraphic sequence in block F3. Our results suggest that stacking of post-critical flatspot reflections can cause similar large-amplitude but flat reflections, in some cases even causing an interface expected to produce a ‘dimspot’ to appear as a ‘brightspot’.

Analysis of NMO stretch and muting shows the likely exclusion of critical offset data in stacked output. If post-critical reflections are included in stacking, unusual results will be observed. In the North Sea case, we conclude the tuning effect was the primary reason causing for the brightness and flatness of these reflections. However, it is still important to note that care should be taken while applying muting on reflections with wide range of incidence angles and the inclusion of critical offset data may cause some spurious features in the stacked section.