SEG-Y data exchange format modernized
SEG-Y has been the default standard format for storing and exchanging processed seismic data on magnetic tape since it was published in 1975. Around 25-years later, technological developments inspired Jill Lewis, Managing Director of Troika International, to suggest to the PESGB that it establish a committee to agree updates to the format to make it more compatible with the latest high capacity media and 3D acquisition techniques. This led to the publication in 2002 of SEG-Y rev 1, which helped to extend the standard and reduce the use of proprietary variations. Since then, the nature of seismic data acquisition, processing and recording hardware has continued to evolve and the SEG Technical Standards Committee, chaired by Jill Lewis and with assistance from major seismic service providers, has recently undertaken further revision to accommodate developments such as time-lapse (4D), multi-cable, multicomponent, seabed and microseismic data. SEG-Y_r2.0, published in May 2017, is designed to ensure accurate capture of various types of seismic data combined with the associated metadata required to future-proof this valuable information on tape or disk. The revised format provides for up to 65,535 additional 240-byte trace headers for metadata, more than 4 billion samples per trace, variable sample intervals and trillions of traces per line or ensemble. The revised format also supports additional data sample formats including IEEE double precision (64 bit), little-endian and pair-wise byte swapping to improve I/O performance, microsecond accuracy in time and date stamps and additional precision on coordinates, depths, elevations, velocities and the ability to include velocity, EM, gravity and rotational sensor data.