Methods of measurement for 4D seismic post-stack time shifts

Colin MacBeth*, Hamed Amini, Saeed Izadian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
259 Downloads (Pure)


The estimation of time-lapse time shifts between two, or several, repeated seismic surveys has become increasingly popular over the past eighteen years. These time shifts are a reliable and informative seismic attribute that can relate to reservoir production. Correction for these time shifts or the underlying velocity perturbations and/or subsurface displacement in an imaging sense also permits accurate evaluation of time-lapse amplitudes by attempting to decouple the kinematic component. To date, there are approximately thirty methods for time-shift estimation described in the literature. We can group these methods into three main families of mathematical development, together with several miscellaneous techniques. Here we detail the underlying bases for these methods, and the acknowledged benefits and weaknesses of each class of method highlighted. We illustrate this review with a number of time-lapse seismic examples from producing fields. No method is necessarily superior to the others, as its selection depends on ease of implementation, noise characteristics of the field data, and whether the inherent assumptions suit the case in question. However, cross-correlation stands out as the algorithm of choice based on the Pareto principle and waveform inversion the algorithm delivering best resolution. This is a companion study to the previous review of time-shift magnitudes and a discussion of their rock physics basis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2637-2664
Number of pages28
JournalGeophysical Prospecting
Issue number9
Early online date14 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • 4D time shifts
  • Geomechanics
  • Quantitative 4D seismic interpretation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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