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The Stanford Exploration Project (SEP) is an industry-funded academic consortium whose purpose is to improve the theory and practice of constructing 3-D and 4-D images of the earth from seismic echo soundings.

Although most of our research is targeted at improvements in the geophysical survey contracting industry, about half of our members and alumni are in the petroleum industry because we focus on overcoming technological limitations of the geophysical survey industry.

SEP pioneered innovations in migration imaging, velocity estimation, dip moveout and slant stack. Today our focus is on 3-D seismic applications such as velocity estimation, wavefield-continuation prestack migration, multidimensional image estimation, and 4-D (time-lapse) reservoir monitoring.

Besides 3-D reflection seismic data, we undertake small 2-D imaging projects with geophysical data of all kinds. The diversity of applications exercises our judgment and skill at combining fundamentals of statistical signal theory, optimization theory, numerical analysis, and wave propagation theory, and this has led us to numerous improvements and some breakthroughs.

We organize our research to facilitate technology transfer by using a formal method of makefile rules. With these, most of our research results are verified by someone other than the original researcher. Research progress reports at least three years old and all PhD theses are made available to the public through our web site.

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