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Thesis Defense - Kadlec

Interactive GPU-Based "Visulation" and Structure Analysis of Implicit Surfaces for Seismic Interpretation
Computer Science PhD Candidate
3/2/2009
11:00am-1:00pm

Three-dimensional seismic data has been used to explore the Earth's crust for over 30 years, yet the imaging and subsequent identification of geologic features in the data remains a time consuming manual task. Current approaches fail to realistically model many 3-D geologic features and offer no integrated segmentation capabilities. In the image processing community, image structure analysis techniques have demonstrated encouraging results through filters that enhance feature structure using partial derivative information. These techniques are only beginning to be applied to the field of seismic interpretation and the information they generate remains to be explored for feature segmentation. Dynamic implicit surfaces, implemented with level set methods, have shown great potential in the computational sciences for applications such as modeling, simulation, and segmentation. Level set methods allow implicit handling of complex topologies deformed by operations where large changes can occur without destroying the level set representation. Many real-world objects can be represented as an implicit surface but further interpretation of those surfaces is often severely limited, such as the growth and segmentation of plane-like and high positive curvature features. In addition, the complexity of many evolving surfaces requires visual monitoring and user control in order to achieve preferred results.

This thesis presents a unified approach that combines image structure analysis and implicit surface modeling in an interactive "visulation" environment (IVE) specifically designed to segment geologic features. The IVE allows geoscientists to observe the evolution of surfaces and steer them toward features of interest using their domain knowledge. This work has been implemented on the GPU for increased performance and interaction. The resulting system is a surface-driven solution for the interpretation of 3-D seismic data, in particular for the segmentation and modeling of faults, channels, and other geobodies.

Committee: Henry Tufo, Associate Professor (Chair)
Geoffrey Dorn, Department of Geological Sciences
Clayton Lewis, Professor
David Yuen, University of Minnesota
Elizabeth Bradley, Professor
Jane Mulligan, Research Assistant Professor
Paul Weimer, Department of Geological Sciences
Department of Computer Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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