Seismic Trace Attributes
Most of the effort in seismic data processing has been directed toward noise reduction and signal enhancement. Great progress has been made and continues to be made. The high quality signals that are now available have shifted some of the emphasis towards extraction of information, other than reflection times, from seismic data.
For example, velocity information has always been a valuable by-product of seismic reflection surveys. Procedures for its determination preceded the advent of digital computers. Automation now provides more precise velocity information in much greater quantities than was previously possible and, of equal importance, it has prompted a much better understanding of the nature of subsurface velocity and its relation to seismic data analysis.
A number of related properties of the seismic trace, including amplitude and frequency, and their derivatives, are grouped together under the general heading of Seismic Attributes. Although these expressions may or may not be a direct function of geological processes, at times they do demonstrate geological changes rather dramatically, and hence may be useful as techniques to highlight anomalous features in a seismic section.
Many of the special process techniques depend on the digital computer for implementation, but it is a credit to early geophysical workers that most of the so-called new techniques were predicted, and often performed in a crude way, many years ago. Many early attempts to turn theory into practice failed simply because they were premature. The concept was not faulty, but insufficient computer power, or the limited dynamic range of recording