Written by: Kester Waters, Michel Kemper, and James Gunning
Ask geoscientists, drillers, etc., and they will tell you, unsurprisingly, that the subsurface is modelled and drilled in Depth. However, whether the seismic is (two-way) Time or Depth indexed, seismic inversion products (impedances) are ubiquitously derived in Time, as convolution of an earth model with an appropriate wavelet (an essential step in any inversion) must be done in that domain where the wavelet can usually be assumed stationary. Put a different way, convolution is not easily or naturally represented in Depth, as the effective wavelet shortens or lengthens with varying subsurface velocity, one of the very quantities the seismic inversion attempts to determine.
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