1887
Volume 30 Number 2
  • E-ISSN: 1365-2478

Abstract

A

Popper's demarcation criterion should be applied to all our theories in geophysics to ensure that our science progresses. We must expose our theories to tests in which they stand some risk of being refuted. But if we have a theory which has no rivals it may be difficult in practice to devise a test in which the theory risks being refuted conclusively.

The example of the deconvolution problem for seismic data is considered for the case where the source wavelet is unknown. It is shown that all our existing theories of deconvolutions are not scientific in Popper's sense; they are statistical models. We cannot compare these models in a way that is independent of the geology, for each model requires the geology to have a different set of statistical properties. Even in our chosen geology it may be extremely difficult to determine the most applicable model and hence determine the “correct” deconvolution theory.

It is more scientific to attempt to solve the deconvolution problem (a) by finding the source wavelet first, deterministically, or (b) by trying to force the wavelet to be a spike—that is, by devising a “perfect” seismic source. A new method of seismic surveying, which has been proposed to tackle the deconvolution problem by the first of these approaches, is based on a theory which is open to refutation by a simple Popperian test. Since the theory makes no assumptions about the geology, the test has equal validity in any geology.

It pays to frame our theories in such a way that they may easily be put at risk. Only in this way will we establish whether we are on firm ground. The alternative is simply to take things on trust.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1111/j.1365-2478.1982.tb01296.x
2006-04-27
2020-04-02
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Hubbard, T. P.1978, The advantages of continuously recording far‐field signatures, presented at the 40th Meeting of the European Association of Exploration Geophysicists, Dublin . Preprint published by Seismograph Service (England) Limited, Holwood, Keston, Kent.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Kuhn, T.1962, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Chicago University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Lakatos, I.1970, Falsification and the methodology of scientific research programmes in Lakatos, I. and Musgrave, A.,1970, Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge, Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Lerwill, W. E.1979, Seismic Sources on land, in Fitch, A. A. , Developments in Geophysical Exploration Methods—1, Applied Science Publishers, London .
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Lerwill, W. E.1980, The amplitude and phase response of a seismic vibrator, Geophysical Prospecting29, 503–528.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Levinson, N.1947, The Wiener RMS error criterion in filter design and prediction, in Wiener, N., 1947, Extrapolation, Interpolation and Smoothing of Stationary Time Series, Wiley, New York .
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Nooteboom, J. J.1978, Signature and amplitude of linear gun arrays, Geophysical Prospecting25, 194–201.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Parasnis, 1980, Presidential address to the 42nd Meeting of the European Association of Exploration Geophysicists, Geophysical Prospecting28, no. 5, 667–673.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Peacock, K. L. and Treitel, S.1969, Predictive deconvolution; theory and practice. Geophysics34, 155–169.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Popper, K. R.1956, The demarcation between science and metaphysics, in Popper, K. R. 1972, Conjectures and Refutations, Routledge and Kegan Paul Limited, London (4th edition).
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Popper, K. R.1960, Truth, rationality, and the growth of scientific knowledge, in Popper, K. R. 1972, Conjectures and Refutations, Routledge and Kegan Paul Limited, London .
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Popper, K. R.1961, The Poverty of Historicism, Routledge and Kegan Paul Limited, London .
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Popper, K. R.1966, The Open Society and Its Enemies, 5th Edition, Routledge and Kegan Paul Limited, London .
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Popper, K. R.1970, Normal science and its dangers, in Lakatos, I. and Musgrave, A. 1970, Criticism and The Growth of Knowledge, Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Robinson, E. A.1957. Predictive decomposition of seismic traces, Geophysics22, 767–778.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Ziolkowski, A.1980, Source array scaling for wavelet deconvolution, Geophysical Prospecting28, 902–918.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Ziolkowski, A., Lerwill, W. E., March, D. W. and Peardon, L. G.1980, Wavelet deconvolution using a source scaling law, Geophysical Prospecting28, 872–901.
    [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1111/j.1365-2478.1982.tb01296.x
Loading
  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error