News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, Apr. 15, 1998
The donation comes from Seismic Micro-Technology, Inc., of Houston, Texas. The software is used in petroleum exploration to study underground geology. At KU, it will help students learn to use the same tools that they will use in industry.
Seismic profiles are commonly used in the petroleum industry to provide a "picture" of underground geology. A vibration is set off at the earth's surface, and sound waves travel underground, reflect off of underground rock layers, then travel back to the surface, where they are recorded. Because different rock layers reflect the vibrations in different ways, the results can provide information on the location and nature of underground rocks.
In recent years, three-dimensional seismic surveys, which provide a detailed image of huge blocks of the subsurface, have become more popular. Because of the complexity and amount of information such surveys produce, they require sophisticated computer software. Training on current software packages will help equip KU students to move into high-technology jobs in the petroleum industry.
The software will be available on computers at both the KU geology department and at the Kansas Geological Survey. Seismic Micro-Technology is also providing free technical support for the software for the next three years.
"This donation will give students 'hands-on' training while they are still in school," said Tim Carr, head of the Survey's petroleum research section. "The software will be valuable in our research at the Survey, and at the same time help get students ready for the real world."
Tony Walton, Chairman of KU's Department of Geology, stressed the necessity of such facilities for teaching and research.
"I am excited about the prospect of informing our students about the power of the seismic methods in our regular courses," said Walton. "Our program already involves a considerable amount of gathering of seismic data for student and faculty research; this donation provides an accessible program that will allow our students to analyze those data."