Sound Science: Doug McCowan develops seismic analysis software to improve imaging and provide better measurements of subsurface attributes
September 9, 2007
Doug McCowan joined the Bureau of Economic Geology as a research associate in June 2007, working in the Marine Seismic Data Center. McCowan splits his time between the Bureau and Houston where he works as an independent seismic software developer.
His research focuses on the acquisition and analysis of multichannel seismic reflection and refraction data, multi-dimensional signal processing, and hardware and software development. McCowan is currently working to develop seismic analysis software to improve imaging and provide better measurements of subsurface attributes such as pressure, temperature, and velocity.
“Seismic data has to be processed and that’s the business I’m in,” McCowan said. “I am developing software that incorporates new seismic processing algorithms to get more out of the data. For decades, the focus has been on imaging, but I am also interested in processing the seismic data to improve the attributes derived from it.”
McCowan focuses on the practical aspects of seismic analysis. By improving the performance of seismic models, his research supports oil and gas companies by turning their data sets into detailed information on the subsurface useful for exploration.
McCowan earned his Ph.D. in geophysics from Pennsylvania State University and holds a B.S. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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