About the VSA

The Virtual Seismic Atlas is a "free-at-the-point-of-access" resource that captures and shares the geological interpretation of seismic reflection data. It has developed from a partnership involving UK universities, the Natural Environment Research Council, learned societies and publishers and a group of leading energy companies and service providers. More information is available under the tabs at the top of the page and in the sections below: 

Why is there a VSA?

The acquisition of seismic reflection data has been the most important advance in establishing the structure of the outer parts of the solid Earth. There are now substantial volumes of data available openly - and seismic images are published daily.  But the challenge is to find great images of specific features. This is because data libraries generally catalogue content on the basis of acquisition parameters, location etc - rather than the geology the data images. So if you want to find great examples for teaching and training, or if you're seeking analogues for comparison with your own subsurface interpretation, you need to know where in the world, and within which data-set, to look. If you're not an expert, how do you know where to start? A further complication is that geology imaged seismically relies on interpretation and is therefore inherently non-unique. The VSA side-steps these problems. Users can  browse for images on the basis of interpretation, and then access clean versions of images. As VSA content grows, seismic images can be populated with multiple interpretations. This also enhances discussion of interpretation uncertainty - something that rarely gets mentions in research papers, for example.

So the VSA serves a host of different purposes. The powerful faceted search structures quickly expose users to content - allowing serendipidous discovery of images which forms the cornerstone to effective analogue-finding. Providers of seismic data and technology can show-case their capabilities, linking the VSA user-community to images from cutting-edge seismic experiments. Researchers can share their seismic interpretations with the VSA use-community, connecting them with their scientific publications. Researchers, the industry-based scientists and the public at large are connected through the VSA.

Republishing agreements

We are delighted that three major publishers of Earth Science research have agreed that seismic images in their copyrighted content can be republished on the VSA without further recourse. So - if you'd like to do this - we welcome such content - especially if you can adjust your artwork to show clean and interpreted versions. You should acknowledge the original source of this material and you can add a link to the online version of your paper in the image's "Docs and Links" area. It's a great way of increasing exposure for your research papers. The publishers are:


Who's Who at the VSA

The VSA is run by an Administrative Group consisting of: