Table 1.

Interpreter's toolkit from 1930 to 2030 in 25-year increments.

1930
Transition from refraction to reflection method
Interpretation made in the field
Single shot records from film correlated
1955
Initial use of magnetic recordings
CDP method
Continuous profiles
Continuous velocity logs
Groundwork for digital recordings
1980
2D paper sections in wiggle trace variable area format
Map colors, dividers, engineering rules
Hand contouring
Seismic stratigraphy
Seismic attributes
2005
Primarily 3D seismic in computer workstation environment (2–3 monitors)
Color displays in various wiggle trace and color formats
Compute generated maps, cross-sections, time and horizon slices, coherency
3D displays in large and small visualization environments
4D
AVO
Prestack time- and depth-migrated data (multiple CPU cluster processing)
Modeling
Geostatistics
Neural networks
2030
All seismic in depth
Full-vector wavefield imaging
Solid earth models
Field production monitored by intelligent systems (nanotechnology)
New computer technology (optical, molecular, DNA, and quantum computers?)