Superior seismic imaging for better drilling

phys.org | 7/12/2018 | Staff
eymira (Posted by) Level 3
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Software could transform underground imaging of fossil fuel reserves by providing unprecedented detail in record time.

For an oil-rich country like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, seismic imaging is vital for efficient extraction of fossil fuels. New software, known as GIRIH, could improve the underground imaging system for more precise drilling of oil wells.

Images - Waves - Geologic - Structures - Areas

Seismic images are created by bouncing sound waves off underground geologic structures to help identify potential areas of oil and gas. Analyzing this data to generate accurate images takes significant time and computing power. The more complex the subsurface, the more fine-grained and detailed the analysis must be; and the more physical parameters included (related to different wave propagation properties through varying rock types), the greater the demand on computational requirements (memory and processing time).

Researchers at KAUST's Extreme Computing Research Center (ECRC) are working closely with the oil company Saudi Aramco in an ambitious project, ExaWave, to design and integrate novel software into image analysis platforms. "Exa" refers to Aramco's preparation to migrate their workload to emerging exascale architectures, capable of performing a billion-billion operations per second. The work of this partnership will facilitate rapid, accurate and sustainable fossil fuel extraction.

High-performance - Computer - Interactions - Software - Hardware

For future high-performance computer modeling to work efficiently, the interactions between software and hardware architectures must be refined. Hatem Ltaief, David Keyes and their team at the ECRC are redesigning numerical algorithms to adapt the mathematical models to the emerging hardware.

"There is a mismatch between where computing hardware design is headed in the near future and how traditional software is designed," says Ltaief. "Future hardware systems will consist of thousands of processing units (or cores) on every node with a deep memory hierarchy. However, most current scientific codes are not ready to exploit this technology."

Parallel - Tasks - Tasks

Parallel computing requires breaking down large computational tasks into many smaller tasks that are...
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