A Two-Dimensional Post-Stack Seismic Inversion for Acoustic Impedance of Gas and Hydrate Bearing Deep-Water Sediments Within the Continental Slope of the Ulleung Basin, East Sea, Korea

  • Author(s): Keumsuk Lee, Dong-Geun Yoo, George A. McMechan, Namsoon Hwang, and Gwang H. Lee
  • DOI: 10.3319/TAO.2013.01.10.01(T)
  • Keywords: Post-stack acoustic inversion, Seismic chimney, Gas hydrate, BSR



A post-stack inversion of 2D seismic data was conducted to estimate the spatial distribution of acoustic impedance associated with gas and hydrates in the Ulleung Basin, East Sea, Korea constrained by logs from three boreholes drilled on its continental margin. A model-based inversion was applied to a Plio-Quaternary succession composed of alternations of unconsolidated mass-flow deposits/turbidites. A comparison of seismic reflections and synthetic data computed from impedance logs is shown for two zones. An upper (steep) slope zone contains a moderately continuous, possibly bottom-simulating reflector feature along the corresponding section. This feature may be associated with a lithology boundary near a drill site in addition to, or instead of, a stability boundary of gas hydrates (i.e., gas below and hydrates above). The lower (gentle) slope zone has locally cross-cutting reflection patterns that are more likely to be attributed to gas- and hydrate-related physical phenomena than to spatiotemporal changes in lithology. This seismic inversion is informative and useful, making a contribution to enhance the interpretability of the seismic profiles for a potential hydrate recovery.

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