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Loránd Eötvös Award

Best Paper Award
The Loránd Eötvös Award is presented to the author(s) of the best paper published in Geophysical Prospecting in the calendar year preceding the award. The paper should be of high scientific standard and should represent a significant contribution or an outstanding tutorial in one or more of the disciplines in our Association.

The Eötvös Award consists of a certificate as well as a specially bound copy of the issue in which the pertinent paper appears.


The Loránd Eötvös Award 2016 is presented to

Joost van der Neut 
and his Co-author Kees Wapenaar

For their paper ´Point-spread functions for interferometric imaging´, published in Geophysical Prospecting, volume 63, issue 5, October 2015, pp. 1033–1049.

Joost van der Neut and Kees Wapenaar propose an original, quantitative analysis of point-spread functions in interferometric redatuming, in which acquisition (sources and/or receivers) are moved to a deeper level by building virtual reflection data. The authors show how this could be achieved by cross-correlation or multidimensional deconvolution. Other possible strategies, based on Marchenko redatuming, could also be chosen. This article presents theory and examples to estimate the spreading feature when examining redatumed data, which may suffer from distortions in the image domain, due to internal multiple reflections in the overburden. The point-spread functions can be utilised for diagnostic purposes in the image domain and, potentially, for the removal of multiplerelated artefacts. The approach can also be applied to other acquisition designs. The paper represents a major step towards the application of interferometric imaging by providing quantitative tools to evaluate and improve the quality of images from virtual reflection data.

Vienna, 30 May 2016

Previous Winners Of The Loránd Eötvös Award


Laurence J. North and his Co-author Angus I. Best

For their paper 'Anomalous electrical resistivity anisotropy in clean reservoir sandstones', published in Geophysical Prospecting, volume 62, issue 6, November 2014, pp. 1315-1326.

This paper makes a significant contribution to the understanding of resistivity anisotropy in real rocks, noted by Conrad Schlumberger in 1920, through an elegant combination of laboratory measurements and numerical modelling. The authors report novel laboratory measurements of the full electrical resistivity tensor in reservoir-analogue, quartzose sandstones with clay contents less than 1.5%. The findings suggest that resistivity anisotropy is the norm, even in clean sandstones that are often considered isotropic. The laboratory results are supported by grain compaction modelling. The authors suggest that such anisotropy may be related to deposition and compaction processes in clastic rocks, which could also affect fluid flow, and they discuss the potential impact on formation evaluation from log data, as well as the interpretation of remote sensing methods such as controlled source electromagnetics.


Klaus Helbig for his paper ‘Review paper: What Kelvin might have written about Elasticity’, published in Geophysical Prospecting, volume 61, issue 1, January 2013, pp. 1-20.

Helbig succeeds in using a review paper to generate fresh insights, new clarity and innovative ideas, worthy of the Eötvös award, thanks to his analysis of a fascinating piece of scientific history. He recounts the main points of the ground-breaking analysis of the elastic tensor, made by William Thomson (later Baron Kelvin of Largs) in 1856, in his "XXI, Elements of a Mathematical Theory of Elasticity, Part 1, on Stresses and Strains," and analyses why the paper elicited no reaction for 125 years. Helbig speculates on what might have been in Kelvin's mind for a second part, and how the theory of elasticity might then have developed, accepting Kelvin's eigensystem. Helbig's paper provides a clear glossary for interpreting Kelvin's tensor notation in the light of classical elasticity as we know it, and suggests the main points that could be still of great benefit in separating material properties from geometry, and especially in describing anisotropic symmetries. Helbig uses Kelvin's formalism to link tensor structure to symmetry class and to identify a new symmetry class, the diclinic, fitting logically between monoclinic and triclinic classes, as earlier proposed by Muir and then by Helbig himself. This review is an outstanding contribution to Geophysical Prospecting and to elastodynamics in general.


Michael S. King and his co-authors William S. Pettitt, Jonathan R. Haycox and R. Paul Young



For their paper ‘Acoustic emissions associated with the formation of fracture sets in sandstone under polyaxial stress conditions’, published in Geophysical Prospecting, volume 60, issue 1, January 2012, pp. 93–102.

The authors report results of laboratory experiments to measure the acoustic emission and ultrasonic response of a rock volume subjected to controlled stress and damage conditions. Their achievement in developing a technique for creating true triaxial conditions on rock samples and monitoring fracture growth from acoustic transmissions and emissions is highly commendable. Using moment tensor analysis, the authors interpret the mechanisms governing onset and development of microcracks as they coalesce into a fracture propagating deep into the sample. The methodology has potential for understanding and monitoring field-scale rock failure processes in petroleum, geothermal and CO2 reservoirs and around critical engineered structures within mines and underground nuclear-waste facilities.

Leiv-J. Gelius and his co-author Endrias Asgedom

For their paper ‘Diffraction-limited imaging and beyond – the concept of super resolution’, published in Geophysical Prospecting, 2011, volume 59, no. 3, May 2011, pp. 400–421.

This paper provides a framework for understanding and analysing both diffraction-limited imaging as well as super resolution. The authors demonstrate that point-diffracted data can apparently be super resolved by making use of null-space solutions. Moreover, two scatterers with strong interaction could still be super resolved. The authors also analyse the effect of noise and the signal frequency bandwidth on the resolving power, putting in evidence the limits and the advantages of this technique. While mentioning that the super resolution technique is not able to form complete and reliable images of the subsurface, the authors assert that separating diffractions from reflections and identifying a local target region (for example, diffractions associated with local faults), may have the potential to add more details to the big picture. The authors bring the reader to understand clearly difficult concepts while maintaining a high level of a paper, which is not only scientifically correct but that finally indicates the road ahead for seismic exploration.


J.B. Joubert and his co-author V. Maïtan

For their paper “Borehole image logs for turbidite facies identification: core calibration and outcrop analogues”, published in First Break, 2010, issue 6, pp. 55-66.

In exploration, appraisal, and development of hydrocarbon fields, the understanding of the sedimentary model requires increasingly sophisticated techniques and analysis to interpret the geometry, facies, and petrophysical properties of the reservoirs. The objective is to understand the reservoir flow properties for making optimum decisions during field development. For this purpose, the use of high resolution image logs provided by service companies has become essential in sedimentary interpretation. When they are correctly calibrated against known facies, image logs can replace coring operations, which are time-consuming, expensive, and limited in the depth interval sampled. Recent examples of application have proved highly successful for exploration wells. Now mature fields can be reinterpreted in the light of the new understanding gained, enabling development plans to be revised with enhanced recovery methods. As a result of the success of this approach, image-based facies interpretation is now included in the standard procedure for evaluation of data from exploration, appraisal, and development wells.

Federico Cella and his co-authors Maurizio Fedi and Giovanni Florio

Paper 1
Toward a full multiscale approach to interpret potential fields. Geophysical Prospecting, 2010, p. 543-557.

A multi-scale analysis can highlight the edges of buried bodies by the derivatives of their potential field and, based on these constraints, improve the estimation of their depth and shape. A major advantage of this method is its ability to decouple the components due to shallow or local bodies from those regional or deeper ones. The validation by synthetic data highlights the application of this new method to field data from Southern Italy.

Vladimir Glogovsky and his co-authors Evgeny Landa, Sergey Langman and
Tijmen Jan Moser

Paper 2
Validating the velocity model: the Hamburg score. First Break, 2009, issue 3, p. 77-85.

Rarely does a paper address critically what does not work, especially for methods that are widely accepted or even standard for the industry. Glogovsky et al. have critically reviewed basic concepts of seismic imaging and highlighted major limits in velocity model building and in the subsequent depth imaging. The clarity and classy humour of their style made it a brilliant example of scientific communication of advanced topics to non-specialist geoscientists.

Pierre Gouedard and his co-authors L. Stehly, F. Brenguier, M. Campillo, Y. Colin de Verdière, E. Larose, L. Margerin, P. Roux, F.J. Sánchez-Sesma, N.M. Shapiro and R.L. Weaver

For their paper "Cross-correlation of random fields: mathematical approach and applications", published in Geophysical Prospecting, Vol. 56.
This paper reviews three methods for imaging multiples, including model based and interferometric methods. The paper is easy to read, is very instructive, and stimulates the reader to consider how to make better use of multiples and seismic data from wells for imaging complex structures.

Zhiyong Jiang and his co-authors Jianming Sheng, Jianhua Yu, Gerard Schuster and Brian Hornby

For their paper "Migration methods for imaging different-order multiples", published in Geophysical Prospecting, Vol. 55, No 1.
This paper reviews three methods for imaging multiples, including model based and interferometric methods. The paper is easy to read, is very instructive, and stimulates the reader to consider how to make better use of multiples and well seismic data for imaging complex structures.

Evgeny Landa and his co-authors Sergey Fomel and Tijmen Jan Moser

For their paper “Path-Integral Seismic Imaging”, published in Geophysical Prospecting, Vol. 54, No. 5. The paper presents a new approach for prestack seismic imaging in a macromodel independent context. The optimum migration is found as a weighted stack of images obtained for a range of velocity models. The paper provides an original analysis of stationary phase construction in the velocity model domain and opens the door to a new family of automatic pre-stack time imaging procedures.

Eusebio Stucchi and his co-authors Alfredo Mazzotti and Simonetta Ciuffi

For their paper "Seismic preprocessing and amplitude cross-calibration for a time-lapse amplitude study on seismic data from the Oseberg reservoir", published in Geophysical Prospecting, Vol. 53, No. 2. The paper presents an outstanding work on the analysis and reliability of time lapse pre-stack seismic amplitudes, a topic of prime importance for reservoir monitoring. The analysis encompasses careful true-amplitude processing of each vintage, original procedures for amplitude cross-calibration and robust estimation of AVO attributes. The paper provides many useful figures for the representation and analysis of pre-stack amplitudes.

Claudio Bagaini and co-author Everhard Muyzert

For their paper “Calibration of cross-line components for sea-bed 4C acquisition systems”, published in Geophysical Prospecting, Vol. 52, No. 4, p 341-349 This is a very original piece of work on a topic of critical importance at a time when new seismic acquisition technologies are crucial to improving our understanding of the subsurface for better recovery of hydrocarbon reserves. The paper is very clearly written, provides a comprehensive analysis of coupling issues in multicomponent recording and offers solutions that are successfully applied to a real case.

Solomon Assefa and his co-authors Clive McCann and Jeremy Sothcott

For their paper entitled "Velocities of compressional and shear waves in limestones" which appeared in Geophysical Prospecting, Vol. 51, No. 1.
This is an original piece of work in petrophysics and gives a new insight into our understanding of the elastic properties of limestones. The study is very relevant as it comes at a time when the industry is applying increasingly more amplitude-based seismic studies to carbonate reservoirs and when considering that carbonate reservoirs contain at least half of the reserves of hydrocarbons in the world.

Kaushik Das

and his co-authors Alex Becker and Ki Ha Lee
For their paper entitled “Experimental validation of the wavefield transform of electromagnetic fields” which appeared in Geophysical Prospecting, volume 50, Number 5.This paper reports an experimental demonstration that the wavefield transform technique for EM signals is valid. It forms an essential basis for future work on solving problems associated with Time Domain EM. It shows that these problems can be successfully scaled down to the laboratory and this gives valuable insights into which parts of the theory are adequate and which are not.

Y. Zhang

and his co-authors Steffen Bergler and Peter Hubral, For their paper ‘Common-reflection-surface (CRS) stack for common offset’, published in Geophysical Prospecting Vol. 49, No. 6. The authors present a data-driven macro-model-independent technique that transforms 2D Prestack data into an accurate approximation for common offset section.

I. Lecomte

and her co-authors Håvar Gjøystdal, Anders Dahle and Ole Christian Pedersen, for their paper “Improving modelling and inversion in refraction seismics with a first-order Eikonal solver”, published in Geophysical Prospecting Volume 48, Number 3. The authors present an elegant and stable ray-and wavefront-based interactive modelling and inversion tool for refracted waves in complex earth models.

* As from June 2001, all award titles will refer to the year in which they are presented to the winners, and no longer to the year in which the winning poster/paper was presented.

J.H.H.M. Potters

And his co-authors H.J.J. Groenendaal, S.J. Oates, J.H. Hake and A.B. Kalden for their paper “The 3D Shear Experiment over the Natih Field in Oman – Reservoir Geology, Data Acquisition and Anisotropy Analysis”, published in Geophysical Prospecting Volume 47, Number 5. This excellently illustrated paper reviews the design considerations, implementation and interpretation of a 3D shear wave survey over a fractured carbonate reservoir. It is an exemplary case study of the application of multi component seismology to reservoir characterisation.

S. Grion

and his co-authors A. Mazzotti and U. Spagnolini for their paper ‘Joint estimation of AVO and kinematic parameters’, published in Geophysical Prospecting Volume 46, Number 4. By means of a neat parametrisation, the authors implement an efficient method of estimating the variation of reflection amplitude with offset that minimises distortions from interfering events and from errors in normal moveout correction. They go on to demonstrate its practicality by application to marine seismic data that exhibit non-hyperbolic moveout and sea-bottom multiples.

Martijn Andrea et al.

For their paper ‘Predicting horizontal velocities from well data’, published in Geophysical Prospecting Volume 45, Number 4. The authors developed a scheme to model the anisotropy due to sedimentary layering and intrinsic anisotropy in mudstones. By fitting a model to ultrasonic data, the authors successfully predict the sonic log and the direct arrival times from a cross hole survey.

Einar Iversen and Håvar Gjøystdal

For their paper ‘Event-oriented Velocity Estimation based on Prestack Data in Time or Depth Domain’, published in Geophysical Prospecting Volume 44, Number 4. This paper develops a new technique of seismic velocity determination allowing for a better depth conversion. Using ray theory, it is applicable to complex structural geometry and gives a quantitative estimation of the uncertainty.

Gary Hampson and Helmut Jakubowicz

For their paper ‘The Effect of Source and Receiver Motion on Seismic Data’, published in Geophysical Prospecting Volume 43, Number 2. This paper proposes an elegant solution to neutralize the distortions introduced into seismic data by source and receiver motion. It is particularly important for surveys using marine sources with long signatures.

P. Nielsen

and his co-authors F. If, P. Berg and O. Skovgaard for their paper ‘Using the Pseudospectral Technique on Curved grids for 2D Acoustic Forward Modelling’
published in Geophysical Prospecting Volume 42, Number 4. This paper shows that the use of curved grids for acoustic modelling of geological interfaces can give more accuracy with fewer grid points than Cartesian grids, thus allowing the possibility to compute larger models and 3D configurations.

D.J. Monk

for his papers ‘Wave equation multiple suppression using constrained gross equalization’, published in Geophysical Prospecting Vol. 41, Number 6, August 1993 and ‘An approach to optimum slant stack; its applications as seismic noise attenuator’, published in First Break Vol. 11, Number 12, December 1993 (co-authors H. Crook and P. Cowan). These two papers describe efficient new techniques of noise attenuation in seismic imaging.

H.L.J.G. Hoetz

and his co-author D.G. Watters for their paper ‘Seismic Horizon Attribute Mapping for the Annerveen Gasfield, The Netherlands’, published in First Break, Vol. 10, Number 2. This paper is a remarkable illustration of the interpretation of 3D seismic surveys on workstations. It shows how the application of new techniques such as automatic tracking and horizon attribute processing can improve very significantly the quality of seismic interpretation.

A.H. Balch

and his co-authors H. Chang, G.S. Hofland, K.A. Ranzinger and C. Erdemir for their paper 'The Use of Forward- and Back-Scattered P-, S- and Converted Waves in Cross-Borehole Imaging', published in Geophysical Prospecting Vol. 39, No. 7. This paper demonstrates how a range of advanced techniques can be combined into an effective processing sequence for unravelling the wavemodes recorded in cross-hole imaging and converting them into a meaningful image.

H. Jakubowicz

For his paper 'A Simple Efficient Method of Dip?Moveout Correction', published in Geophysical Prospecting Vol. 38, Number 3. The paper shows how a particular insight Into dip-moveout and stacking can be turned to advantage in order to derive a dip-moveout process that is both accurate and efficient.

R.M. Dalley

and his co-authors E.C.A. Gevers, G.M. Stampfli, D.J. Davies, C.N. Gastaldi, P.A. Ruijtenberg and G.J.O. Vermeer for their paper 'Dip and Azimuth Displays for 3-D Seismic Interpretation' published in First Break Vol. 7, Number 3. This paper demonstrates how a wealth of finely resolved geological detail can be released from 3-D seismic data through careful processing and imaginative modes of display.

L. Ongkiehong

For his two papers 'Towards the Universal Seismic Acquisition Technique' (with
H.J. Askin) and 'A Changing Philosophy in Seismic Data Acquisition' published in First Break Vol. 6, Numbers 2 and 9, respectively. These two papers promoted widespread interest and stimulated a reassessment of the fundamentals of seismic data acquisition.