The VSA is designed to be intuitive both for finding existing content and for authoring new material.   In addition, answers to FAQs are given below - please contact the administration group if you need more help.

What is the VSA?

"Sharing the geological interpretation of seismic data"... The VSA is an online collaborative knowledge base - a browsable image gallery and a whole lot more. Content is freely available for anyone to access, no fees, no log- ins. The material on the VSA can be used freely, subject to respecting the intellectual properties rights of authors (in the same way you would with material published in a scientific journal: check our terms and conditions). But it means, with due acknowledgement, you can use images to illustrate presentations, for developing training materials and research - to name just a few uses. For more information, please see the ABOUT page.

How can I start to add content?

To add content to the VSA you must be a registered user, with an ID and password. If you have these then log-on (top RH corner of VSA page frame). Authoring on the VSA is intuitive, with structured pages that allow you to add a rich array of metadata to your images which means your content will be found easily and appropriately by the VSA user community. We'll be adding tutorials and further guidance here in the coming weeks.

I can't log into the VSA

You can only log into the secure part of the VSA with a user ID and password. Without logging into the VSA you can still "browse anonymously" - and access all content. Subject to adhering to the VSA terms and conditions, you can download images and use them. We have created the secure log-in environment for individuals that allows them to add content to the VSA. At present, this level of access is granted to individuals from key content-providers. We can provide access on this basis on request: please contact the Administrative Group - Rob Butler (rob butler at abdn ac uk), Bill McCaffrey (w d mccaffrey at leeds ac uk) or Taija Torvela (t m torvela at leeds ac uk). 

If you have forgotten your login details, you can receive email prompts from the link on the log-in page.  If your email has changed, let us know, and we'll update your file so you can log in again using your current email address.

How can I support the VSA?

There is an open call for sponsorship of the Virtual Seismic Atlas There are different levels available depending on the size of company and the desired degree of involvement. All sponsors can send delegates to Advisory Group meetings. Past supporters are listed on our sponsor page. Please contact the administrative Group - Rob Butler (rob butler at abdn ac uk)  Bill McCaffrey (w d mccaffrey at leeds ac uk) or Taija Torvela (t m torvela at leeds ac uk) - if you'd like to discuss sponsoring the VSA.

How do I search for content?

We have designed the VSA with different paths to the content. If you type into the search box (top right of screen) this will look for words in the title and abstract (caption) of each image. But a more entertaining and useful approach is to use the extensive search menu in the column on the left. This uses faceted searching to allow you to quickly refine searches. So you can select a term from a subject heading (say " Depositional Architecture") which will return a set of images - then refine the search (say on "Tectonics", or "Geographic context"). Depending on your internet connection, each search returns an array of images in a second or two - so you can browse through content. It's a great way of finding analogues and seeing seismic examples you never knew existing.

What is faceted searching?

The VSA structure appears complex but all the different document types can be easily found and co-related using a nimble process called "faceted searching".  All documents are tagged with extensive meta-data (hidden labels) that record not only the geographic and geophysical context but also an array of geological attributes. Search requests interrogate the metadata, and only return results where there are data, so you'll never be sent down a blind alley that holds no images. This content discovery solution is used in a number of high-profile online retail sites. In this context, these businesses use faceted searches to expose potential customers to products, helping them find what they're after and show them items that they might be interested in. For us, this approach creates unexpected insights, serendipitous opportunities for new research. Different sequences of search refinement (the sequence in which you refine searches buy selected different terms from the menu) yields different juxtapositions of images - there are literally millions of paths to the same final image. We hope you enjoy the journey - and find not only what you're looking for, but also what you never knew existed!

What are surveys, regional, scene and interpretation projects?

We have set up a cascade of different information in the VSA, so that you can use content in "picture and work-book" format. Surveys are where you can find information on the acquisition, processing and location of the original seismic data (if available). It may also include links to related publications and websites. A regional project is a clean (uninterpreted) part of the data, say a long line from a 2D survey, a long in- or cross-line, time slice or large visualization of a 3D. A scene is a zoom in of a regional project, again a clean version. Interpretations are just that - geological interpretation, annotation, full horizon picks, anything, overlain on clean imagery. Both regional and scene projects can have interpretations. The different entities are labelled with coloured tags so you know what you're getting!  For information on how to author each item, see the help menu item "How can I start to add content". If you want to search on these types of feature - select them from the bottom of the search menu. Select a survey and drill on down to view how VSA content relates to each other.

How can I contribute content to the VSA?

The VSA is a community resource - designed for everyone to be able to publish interpretations and add seismic examples (if permitted). If you'd like material to be added to the site, please contact the VSA team Rob Butler (rob butler at abdn ac uk), Bill McCaffrey (w d mccaffrey at leed ac uk) or Taija Torvela ( t m torvela at leeds ac uk) to get a VSA user name and password. Be sure to check our terms and conditions before submitting material!

Who are the VSA Administrative Group?

Rob Butler (Director, University of Aberdeen rob butler at abdn ac uk )

Bill McCaffrey (University of Leeds: w d mccaffrey at leed ac uk)

Taija Torvela (University of Leeds: t m torvela at leeds ac uk